By Sola Popoola
A Human Rights Lawyer and member of the Ekiti State House of Assembly, Hon. Adeoye Aribasoye has admonished the former Governor Segun Oni and Social Democratic Party’s Governorship candidate in the June 18 poll to imbibe the spirit of sportsmanship and act as a true statesman by congratulating the winner of the election, Biodun Abayomi Oyebanji (BAO)
The lawmaker also urged Engineer Oni to withdraw his petition against Oyebanji inorder esrn the respect and save his (Oni’s) political future.
Aribasoye ,who represents Ikole constituency 2 in the House of Assembly, said this in a statement, on Wednesday, reacting to the recent petition filed by Oni at the Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Ado Ekiti, contesting Oyebanji’s victory.
He cautioned that challenging an election widely adjudged to be free and fair election is tantamount to a mission to “political suicide”, saying no politician can try the will of the people and survive it.
The Lawmaker stated, “former governor Segun Oni must always think about his status in Ekiti State and act in a manner commensurate and befitting of that status. He shouldn’t make himself a ready and available instrument of destabilisation when issue like this happens.
“The former governor knew that he lost that election and that was why there wasn’t any reason for people to stage any protest on June 19 when Biodun Oyebanji was pronounced the winner of the election.
“My appeal to him is that, he should dignify himself and reappraise his stand on this election. Let him be bold to congratulate the winner and withdraw the petition to earn the respect he deserves among the populace, because pursuing this case under this circumstance is like a suicide mission”, he warned.
He added that Oni’s petition was more like a desperation and akin to displaying unbridled and inordinate ambition in order to gain political prominence.
“Ekiti people freely gave their mandate to Oyebanji in an election widely rated and adjudged as the freest and fairest in recent past, saying contesting such was tantamount to trying to distract the incoming government and derail governance.”
The Lawmaker stressed the need for former governor Oni to always be circumspect of his action and prevent being goaded and teleguided by his loyalists to always cause confusion in the system.
Aribasoye remembered with sadness, how Oni was allegedly misguided by some enemies of Governor Kayode Fayemi to institute a case against the governor’s emergence as the APC governorship candidate in 2018, but returned home empty-handed.
“Let me take the former governor on a political voyage to 2007 when election was rigged in his favour. He could remember then that Ekiti people trooped out for three and half years protesting against how Governor Kayode Fayemi of the Action Congress was rigged out .
“That corroborated the fact that Ekiti hated cheating under any guise and they would have done same if former governor Oni was actually rigged out in the June 18 election. Biodun Oyebanji won fair and square and that accounted for the serenity after the declaration”.
Speaking specifically about the June 18 poll, Aribasoye said Oyebanji won the poll owing to his acceptability among the youths, women, elite and traditional institution, for his contribution to the creation of Ekiti state in 1996.
“It has been an established fact that if Ekiti had not been created through relentless and zealous efforts of some people, Segun Oni wouldn’t have been scrambling for governorship seat.
“Biodun Oyebanji was the Secretary of the Committee for the creation of Ekiti State and this responsibility he discharged with valour and candour.
“This election was a reciprocation of his contributions to the creation of Ekiti. This reflected in his acceptability among the youths, elite and traditional rulers, so the Oni’s lowly rated SDP shouldn’t have overrated itself that it could win election, despite Oyebanji’s acceptability and Governor Fayemi’s performance.