The Arole Oduduwa & Ooni of Ife, Ooni Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi Ojaja II, on Tuesday pledged that traditional rulers across Osun State are prepared and ready to assist the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) with neutrality to achieve a credible Gubernatorial election in the state on July 16th 2022.
Ooni Ogunwusi who is the permanent Chairman of the Osun State council of Obas gave the assurance during a special meeting with the INEC Chairman, Mahmud Yakubu and traditional rulers across the state at his Ile Oodua Palace of Ife.
Addressing the gathering, Ooni Ogunwusi explained that the traditional institution remains critical in nation building as the closest to the people, adding that the electoral commission has a lot to gain from its association with the monarchs.
“We the traditional rulers share a similar feature with your commission which is independence and neutrality. We are not politicians and that is why we have the control of all our subjects including politicians regardless of their parties.
“I must commend the INEC for their daily introduction of technology into our electoral lives, which has made rigging almost impossible. To cap it all, we now have an electoral act ammendment which complements the advancement of our leadership selection process.
“Look at the one called BVAS, the introduction of that singular device has turned around the fortune of our dear country. With the BVAS, result of the Ekiti State Gubernatorial election was declared in less than 24 hours which has never happened in the history of our dear country.
“Luckily for Nigeria and Nigerians, we have an INEC Chairman who is patriotic and well in character. My advice for the commission and its leadership is to make Nigeria their biggest project.” – The Ooni stated.
Earlier in his address, the INEC boss lauded the Ooni-led Osun State Council of traditional rulers, for their roles in peacekeeping and creation of enabling environment for the conduct of elections.
Prof. Yakubu said, “We are aware that you have done a lot, I was here in 2018 during the last governorship election in Osun and I can see clearly that the atmosphere is calm, serene, quiet and I am absolutely cleared in my mind that you have done a lot to give us what we are seeing.”
“We are appealing to Your Royal Highnesses to talk to the political gladiators; the politicians and their supporters to play by the rules of the game as there can never be a credible election in an atmosphere of rancor.
“Politicians and their followers must give peace a chance for the election to be conducted and concluded promptly during the remaining days of the campaign and after the election.
“We have put all measures in place to ensure that Osun people will be allowed to decide who their next governor will be. We did it in Ekiti and we are prepared to achieve more successes in the July 16 Osun guber poll.
The Orangun of Ile Ila, Oba Wahab Adedotun, Timi of Ede, Oba Munirudeen Adesola Lawal, Aragbiji of Iragbiji, Oba Rasheed Olabomi, Orangun of Oke Ila, Oba Abolarin Aroyinkeye and other Osun monarchs paid host to the INEC boss while the Osun State Resident Electoral Commissioner, Prof. Ganiyu Raji led staff members of the commission at the state level to the strategic engagement.