Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola valedictory and farewell message to the people of the state of Osun to mark the end of his eight years administration
It gives me great joy to make this valedictory address to you.
The the journey we started eight years ago, when I assumed the governorship of this glorious state will come to an end in the morning of Tuesday November 27th. However, our relationship has not ended.
Chief Obafemi Awolowo once told General Yakubu Gowon on the eve of his departure from Gowon’s government that ‘If we are related, we shall meet again’.
In my own case, we are related and shall remain with you and relate well with you in other capacities.
I must therefore thank you most profusely for your kind support and assistance to me and my administration these past eight years.
Indeed, our relationship started from the day I approached you on the platform of Oranmiyan on the 16th of April 2005 and you received me warmly and enthusiastically.
You gave me your undivided support in the 2007 governorship election, not considering the mortal risk and existential threat that came with it. You braced up to the grim challenges of the April 2007 election and the persecution that followed it for nearly four years.
In this cause, many of our patriots, friends and supporters were killed and wounded.
These include but not limited to Hassan Olajoku, Ayo Oni (aka Ayo Kemba), Adebiyi Saheed, Gbenga Obalola and Sogo Adekoya. Scores of peaceful demonstrators were killed in Ilesa after the election, including a pastor who was just coming from his church.
Their memories are evergreen in our hearts.
Every day we spend in office, we are conscious of their heroism and sacrifice and we are determined that they will not die in vain.
May God grant their souls eternal repose, and may they receive comfort in their next estate.
I recollect fondly your heroic stand in the face of intimidation and harassment by security agencies in the run up to the 2014 governorship election.
The largest coercive apparatus of the Nigerian military had been assembled in Osun, with balaclava wearing goons and fearsome dogs in tow.
You welcomed them with your brooms and the praises of our party and for me as the candidate then.
You fearlessly voted, stood by your votes and you made them count as you gave me a fresh mandate which will expire on Tuesday.
You were calm in the face of provocation and thwarted any diabolical plan to disrupt the election. I will remain eternally grateful for this.
I recall again, the evil plan to stampede me out of office in 2015 by agents of darkness who planned to precipitate civil unrest and at the back of it ask for my impeachment. The plot failed spectacularly because you are solidly behind me.
The financial challenge we faced was humongous.
When it became difficult to pay workers, you resisted the promptings of the opposition to plunge the state into chaos and unrest.
Last but not the least, you honoured me by voting for the candidate our party, Gboyega Oyetola, at the last governorship election.
You have done me the distinctive honour of handling over to a successor from our party, which has never happened anywhere in the South West, outside of Lagos.
We are not just having a proper handling over ceremony, you made it possible for us to be succeeded by one of our own. For these and many more, I thank you most sincerely.
When I came to you to seek for your support in my quest to become the governor, I did so with integrity of heart and sincerity of purpose. It was based upon my deep conviction that I could provide leadership and galvanise the energy of the people for development.
I brought to the administration an ideological consciousness shaped in dialectical materialism.
This is an outlook that conceives of history in terms of dialectics – the struggle and unity of equal and opposites.
It conceives of the society and the government as reflective of how economic powers are possessed by the few at the expense of the majority and how this economic power is used to construct political and social hegemony with which to oppress the masses.
My unmistakable historical mission therefore is to liberate the masses from the clutches and stranglehold of the few, by empowering them majorly through education, health and minimum resources needed for survival, thereby freeing their creative ability. On this I stand on the shoulders of giants.
Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Chief Bola Ige, Chief Bisi Akande and Asiwaju Bola Tinubu are earlier apostles of this Fabianism.
These past eight years, I am glad and fulfilled that we have affected Osun in a very positive way.
We began with the reawakening of our Omoluabi consciousness with the launching of our state’s logo, flag and anthem, in the grand preparation for the journey to greatness.
In less than 100 day of our inauguration, we established Osun Youth Empowerment Scheme (OYES) through which we employed 20,000 cadets into public works. In two years, we doubled the figure to 40,000 and increased the number to 60,000 later.
We gave the first and second batches safe landing with jobs in teach.