By Tunde Oyekola, Osogbo
Agitation for Osun West Senatorial Zone to produce the next governor of the state thickens as a governorship aspirant on the platform of All Progressive Congress (APC) in Osun State, Dr Peter Adebayo Babalola said that a candidate who is a Christian from Osun West Senatorial District must succeed the incumbent governor, Mr. Rauf Aregbesola.
Two former governors:Chief Bisi Akande and Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola have earlier canvassed that it would be fair if the next governor of the state is picked from the west senatorial zone since the other two zones have had their fair share of the seat.
Speaking in Ikire, headquarters of Irewole Local government at an interdenominational prayers organised to flag off his campaign, Babalola said he was denied PDP governorship ticket in year 2007, because the powerbroker said a Muslim must succeed the then Christian governor.
Dr. Babalola, a former Chief of staff to Prince Oyinlola and the current chairman of Osun Local Government commission argued that agitations by the people of West Senatorial for the governorship ticket of APC is real, adding that the zone would not compromise its stand no matter the interest of the power-brokers with in APC.
He commended Governor Aregbesola for raising bar of development in Osun, saying in almost 8 years of his reign, the state has witnessed unprecedented development.
“I worked with the military administration and also with civilian government. Aregbesola’s has been able to outperform others before him since the creation of the state. We don’t want that to stop,” Babalola said.
He also urged both Muslim and Christian Clerics to encourage their followers to join politics so as to bring good governance to the polity.
He explained that it would be an effort in futility and wrong when Christian and Muslim clerics pray for good government for the country but discourage their followers to join or participate in politics.
“It is wrong to pray for good government from God and allow evil and corrupt people to get the vacant posts because you believe Godly people should not be in politics.
“It is high time religious people participate in politics if they want good governance.
“Besides, their is nothing wrong in pius Christians and Muslims joining politics, just that they have to mentain the teachings of their faith and remain credible.” he said
In his sermon, Chief Imam of Federal Polytechnic, Ede, Dr. Taofiq Abdumhamid, said injustice within the fold of the All Progressive Congress (APC) caused rancour that dogged State and local Congresses the party recently held across the country.
He then warned Osun state chapter of the party to be fair to all aspirants seeking its governorship ticket to aviod needless controversies, adding that, if zoning is part of APC arrangement, then it should be respected by it’s leaders.
“I was watching television earlier today and I saw reports on rancour that characterised APC Congresses across the country. The root cause of the crises is injustice.
“In Osun here, if zoning is part of APC constitution, whether written or unwritten, it should be respected. Don’t cheat anyone. Be fair to all to avoid needless controversies,” the cleric concluded.
In another sermon, Rev. John Adeniyi, Osun state Deputy Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) chairman, urged Babalola to put his trust in only God, as he goes out to vie for APC ticket.
According to him, people seeking political offices must put God first in their and pursue their ambition in peaceful manner.
The service was attended by the religious leaders, politicians, traditional rulers and members of APC across the state.