Osogbo, the capital of Osun State, stood still on Thursday for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as a mammoth crowd thronged the streets and the party’s Secretariat venue of its mega rally ahead of Saturday’s governorship election in the state.
The overwhelming turnout of Osun residents, who took over major streets and the venue was in spite of the refusal of the State Government to allow the party access to Osogbo Township Stadium and other public facilities in the state it applied to the government for.
In a carnival-like atmosphere, members of the PDP National Campaign Council for the Osun election, the party’s presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and his running mate, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, former Vice President Namadi Sambo and former Senate President Bukola Saraki and other leaders of the party were received with thunderous ovation as they drove through major roads in Osogbo enroute the party secretariat, venue of the rally.
The crowd, which sang and danced excitedly as they struggled to catch a glimpse of the campaign team, showered praises on the gubernatorial candidate, Senator Ademola Adeleke, and surged to join the “train” for the grand finale of the campaign.
There was unprecedented human and vehicular traffic as people surged forward to the venue of the party secretariat as big screen projectors were strategically placed outside the premises of the party secretariat for people who could not gain entrance into the secretariat to watch what was happening inside.
Addressing the party faithful, the presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, harped on the need for the people to return PDP to power in the state and at the national level even as he urged them to protect their votes at the poll.
He called on Osun people to be vigilant and avoid a repeat of the rigging that denied them victory four years ago.
He said “I have come here to tell you not to allow the APC steal your votes like they did four years ago.
“On our way coming we saw a lot of Osun people gathered to welcome us because PDP has brought light to Osun state.
“Come out in your numbers on Saturday to vote our party’s candidate Senator Ademola Adeleke as your governor and light will return to Osun,” he stated.
Also speaking at the rally, the National Chairman of the PDP, Senator Iyorchia Ayu said there was darkness in Osun State, adding that residents of the state were desirous of light that will illuminate the entire state for the collective good of all.
Ayu, therefore, urged residents of the state to be part of a progressive effort towards institutionalising a positive change in the country beginning with a resounding electoral victory in Osun state.
“There is darkness in Osun State and the people want light. I encourage every resident in the state to come out and vote massively for the PDP so as to realise the desired positive change in Osun State,” he said.
He urged the people to be part of a progressive effort towards institutionalising positive change in the country beginning in Osun state.
In his remarks, the former President of the Nigerian Senate, Senator Bukola Saraki urged the people to vote massively for the PDP and protect their votes to avoid a repeat of what happened in the state four years ago.
Responding, the PDP gubernatorial candidate, Senator Ademola Adeleke who expressed happiness over the large party supporters at the mega rally, said the time has come for the people of Osun State to reclaim the mandate stolen from them in 2018 by voting overwhelmingly for the PDP in the Saturday, July 16 governorship election in the state.
While assuring that he would grant autonomy to local government councils in the state if elected, he enjoined eligible voters in the state not to mortgage their votes, adding that they should vote wisely by voting for the PDP.
Governors of the party were led by its Chairman and Sokoto State Governor, Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal, Senator Douye Diri (Bayelsa), Mr Godwin Obaseki (Edo) former Osun Governor Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola and other leaders of the party attended the mega rally.
Music maestro Davido was on ground to electrify the atmosphere as he sang his hit song “FEM”.