The United States government has lauded the government of the State of Osun for creating an enabling environment and peaceful atmosphere for the citizens of the state.
The USA government extolled Governor Rauf Aregbesola’s leadership quality which has helped to maintain peace and security in the state.
The American Consular-General in Nigeria, Mr. John Bray, stated this on Wednesday while paying a courtesy/working visit to Governor Aregbesola, at the Government House, Osogbo.
The American government also pledged to provide support for the conduct of free, fair, transparent, credible and peaceful governorship election coming up in the state on September 22.
Mr Bray was accompanied by notable officials of the American Embassy in Nigeria in the likes of the Embassy’s Political and Economic Chief, Mr Osma Tat; Political Officer, Mr Benjamin Williams; Political Specialist, Mr Arnold Abuline among others.
The American diplomat reiterated the US commitment to mobilize the required strength to ensure the success of the gubernatorial election in the state.
He said his government is keenly interested in the successful conduct of the Osun gubernatorial election as part of efforts to strengthen the democratic culture in the state and Nigeria as a whole.
According to him, as a member of International Election Observers, we have been in the state of Osun in the last two days as part of our pre-election visit to notable institutions and relevant agencies in the bid to ensure the success of the forthcoming governorship election in the state.
“Since our arrival, we have visited various institutions like civil society organizations, security agencies, political parties, traditional rulers and religious leaders, among others, on the need to support the dream of actualizing rancour-free, peaceful and transparent gubernatorial election which will be acceptable to all.
“As part of our tradition of promoting and strengthening democracy, the United State is ready to provide support for the conduct of free, fair, credible and peaceful election on September 22 in Osun and the general election in Nigeria next year.
“We are here to deepen the democratic government in Nigeria by ensuring that all the elections in the country are devoid of violence and are acceptable to all and sundry”, Bray added.
In his remarks, the Governor of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola commended the American government for being the global vanguard of democratic culture and ethics.
He hailed US government for always demonstrating high sense of commitment towards peace and political stability and the conduct of free, credible and transparent elections in the world.
Governor Aregbesola appealed to the American government to support Nigeria on off-season elections which he said are always susceptible to manipulation.
He said his administration has institutionalized Omoluabi ethos in the minds of Osun residents, a trait he said has been consciously displayed by the residents in previous elections held in the state since his assumption of office.
Governor Aregbesola stated that the maintenance of peace during the forthcoming gubernatorial election will only be in furtherance of the already epitomized virtues Osun people are known for.
Aregbesola however assured the envoy of his administration’s commitment to maintaining peace, law and order before, during and after the governorship poll.
According to him, “United States of America deserves commendation for her commitment and passion for the development of democracy in the world.
“This visit is a testimony to the fact that America is committed towards promoting peace and stability in the world.
“As we can see, American Embassy team led by its Consular-General are here in their traditional role and commitment to ensuring the growth of democratic culture and pursuit of peace, maintenance of laws and orders not only in Nigeria but all over the world.
“We are happy and encouraged by this visit which is aimed at ensuring free, fair, transparent, electoral process and we must commend the American diplomats who, over the years, have been doing this”, he added.
“As much as we appreciate your supports in various forms, we want you to extend your kind gestures on our off-season elections like by-elections among others, which tend to be manipulated.
“We are happy that over few years of our stay in government, we have impacted greatly in the lives of our people in all aspects of life.
“Since ‘Omoluabi’ epitomizes Yoruba virtues, that is why we adopted ‘State of the Virtuous’ as our slogan. It is in furtherance of promoting such ideal that we came up with the use of standardized weighing scales and measures.
”So to us, electoral contest is just a further expression of our Omoluabi ethos which we have institutionalized in every household”, Aregbesola stressed.