The Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yoruballand, Iba Gani Adams, has highlighted the need for all stakeholders in Osun State to play by the rules in the forthcoming governorship election as part of the ways to sustain peace in the South West region of Nigeria.
Adams, who paid a courtesy call on the candidate of the All Progressives Congress in Osun State in the September 22 governorship election, Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola, said all political parties and candidates participating in the election must see peace at the end of the exercise as a major condition.
The Yoruba generalisimo, who was in Osogbo for the annual Osun Osogbo Festival, took time off to pay a courtesy call on the candidate of the APC, saying it was to raise issues of security and peace during the governorship election and subsequent polls in 2019.
He was received at the office by Oyetola; the Director General of the campaign organization, Hon. Ajibola Famurewa; and Special Adviser to the Governor on Information and Strategy, Hon. Semiu Okanlawon.
Adams said Osun State has been noted for peace under the administration of the current Governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola.
He advised that the only option for all stakeholders is to ensure that the contest for a successor to Aregbesola is not allowed to breach the peace of the state.
He said: “I am here to let you know that the Yoruba Nation looks forward to Osun, being the cradle of the Yoruba.
“The last eight years have witnessed peace and progress.
“Those must be sustained without any breach at all.
“All of you participating in the poll must play by the rules, knowing well that the progress of your state is tied to the peace therein.
“Let your campaigns be issues-based.
“Ensure that your followers are not violent.
“These are the words we intend to preach to all other parties and candidates whenever we meet them.”
While responding, Oyetola commended the Aare Ona Kakanfo for what he called his “dogged fight for the elevation of the Yoruba race.”
Oyetola said Adams’s promotion of the Yoruba culture and values over the decades have been well documented and that generations coming would honour him for his patriotic and revolutionary struggles.
He said: “I thank you for the honour of this visit.
“I personally have followed your activities and efforts at promoting our culture and tradition.
“On the need for peace during and after this election, we make bold to state that we have been at the centre of creating a peaceful environment in our state since the advent of the Aregbesola administration.
“This was a conscious effort to attract investments and, therefore, development to our state.
“It is therefore clear that sustaining that peace is one of our priorities.
“You will do well, as a leader of the Yoruba nation, to impress it on our opponents to see peace and playing by the rules sine qua none to the sustenance of our development.
“It can be taken for granted that on our part, we won’t be out to destroy what we have spent eight years of hard labour.”