In a dramatic turn-around, The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has declared Isiaka Oyetola, candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), winner of the Osun State governorship election.
Joseph Afuwape, IENC’s Returning Officer, made the declaration on Thursday night after the results of the rerun were declared at the secretariat of the commission in Osogbo, capital of the state.
Coming into the rerun, Ademola Adeleke, candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), had a slight lead, having polled 254,699 votes while Oyetola polled 254,345 votes in the initial election held on Saturday, September 22.
However, in a dramatic turn-around during the rerun, Adeleke polled 325 votes to Oyetola’s 1160.Consequently, according to INEC, Oyetola polled a total of 255,505 votes overall to defeat Adeleke, who recorded a cumulative 255,023 votes.
Thursday’s rerun, which proved the election decider, was marred by a series of electoral malpractices.
At Disu, in Orolu Local Government Area, residents refused to vote, saying they were attacked on their farms on Wednesday by thugs “loyal to the APC”.
The residents alleged that the thugs threatened them against coming out to vote, saying that if they did, they would regret it.
An elderly woman, who spoke with our source, accused the security operatives of condoning the situation, stating that “they are beating people even in front of soldiers”.
“We are afraid; we can’t go there without any security man,” the woman said.
In Ifon town, in Orolu Local Government Area, residents lamented the forced collection of their PVCs by thugs “loyal to the APC”.
According to the residents, the hoodlums came armed with guns and cutlasses, and collected their PVCs, incapacitating them from voting in the rerun.
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Speaking in Yoruba language, an Osun resident who identified herself as Adeoye Misturat narrated how APC thugs molested, harassed and prevented ‘PDP voters’ from voting in Ward 8, Unit 1 – Kajola, a polling unit where APC polled 111 votes to PDP’s 3 votes!
Another residents, who preferred not to be named, told NE “They have all collected our PVCs; we can’t vote. They have been shooting at us — the APC thugs.”
At Kajola Village, also in Orolu Local Government area, Sahara Reporters authoritatively confirmed a plot to rig the election in Ward 8 Unit 1,
When our correspondent visited the polling unit, members of the community were being screened by some thugs. The residents were asked to tender their PVCs and were asked which party they belonged to. Failure to answer this question meant the residents were sent back, while those who answered that they were for the All Progressives Congress (APC) were allowed to pass.
PDP rejects results, says it’s black day for Nigeria
The national leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party met in Abuja on Thursday over the conduct of the rerun governorship election in Osun State.
While rejecting it, the party also said that the Thursday election was one of the worst days in the history of Nigeria.
It described the election as a black day for the nation.
The National Chairman of the party, Prince Uche Secondus, spoke at an emergency meeting after the meeting of members of the PDP National Working Committee.
He lamented that Osun State was put under siege and the citizens’ right trampled upon by security agents, whom he said were backed by both the All Progressives Congress and the Independent National Electoral Commission officials.
He expressed concern that if what took place in Osun State was what would take place in 2019, then the future of Nigeria’s democracy “is bleak and the nation sliding into crisis.”
He said, “What we have witnessed in Osun shows clearly that the All Progressives Congress is not ready for an election and we are afraid that President Muhammadu Buhari will not hand over if he loses the election next year.
“Today, we are all aware of the rerun election in Osun State as we address the press conference. We, the members of the National Working Committee, have reviewed what has happened from the distribution of materials to the actual voting in some of the units and wards.
“We found that Osun is under siege. Therefore, today is a black day for Nigeria.
“We would think that it is a state or some units, but if you look at what has transpired so far from Ekiti to Osun State, Nigerians are groaning in pains especially the Osun people.
“The right of the citizens to be able to come out and vote had been trampled upon and the entire state and the wards and units have been seized by the security agencies who were acting on behalf of the APC to make sure the election is rigged by all means.
“We are sad that if this is what is going to take place in 2019, then the future of Nigeria’s democracy is bleak and we are sliding into crisis.”
Secondus challenged INEC to rise above what happened in Osun and declare the PDP candidate as the winner of the election.
He also called on the commission to immediately cancel the elections in all the units where security agencies seized the Permanent Voter Cards of PDP members and also where their members were prevented from voting.
In his reaction, the Deputy National Chairman (South-West), Dr Eddy Olafeso, noted that security agents colluded with the APC people by allowing those wearing uniform bearing the APC governorship name to vote.
He alleged that in Orolu and Garage Olode and some of the units, the PVCs of PDP members were seized and INEC members of staff were induced with cash, which he said they could not refuse.
I’ll retrieve my stolen mandate at tribunal —Adeleke
The governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in Osun State, Senator Ademola Adeleke, has vowed to retrieve his ‘stolen mandate’ from Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola of the All Progressives Congress at the election petition tribunal.
Adeleke said this while speaking in an interview with journalists shortly before the final figure was announced by the Returning Officer, Prof. Joseph Fuwape, on Thursday.
The PDP candidate, who spoke through his brother, Dele Adeleke, said he would meet with the party leadership and tribunal would be the next step for the party and the candidate to take.
He said, “It will be foolish to allow this 419 result to stand. The party will meet and I believe that the tribunal is the next step to take.
“Adeleke’s mandate can’t be stolen, it will be retrieved. The wish of the people will stand at the end.”
However, the All Progressives Congress has said the PDP is crying foul over the result of the Osun State governorship rerun election because of the inability of the opposition party to rig the poll.
The APC said this in a statement issued on Thursday by its Director of Publicity, Research and Strategy in Osun State, Mr Kunle Oyatomi.
Speaking in the statement released after the rerun poll which was held in seven units, the APC spokesperson said that the opposition party made an elaborate arrangement to rig the poll but were prevented from carrying out the act.
He said, “Osun people have spoken. The PDP was unable to manipulate the result this time around, so they are crying foul. We have always known and have made ourselves clear before the election that the PDP had made elaborate arrangements to rig the election through the manipulation of the card readers and it was this process that made them got the votes allocated to them in the first ballot.
“Nobody expected the PDP to even come second. Most people in Osun have the belief that it would be a straight fight between the APC and SDP. But as God would have it, Osun was saved from the vultures.
“We will like the Osun people to understand that the runoff votes went the way it did because the PDP was unable to manipulate the card readers this time around and fortunately the police thwarted their plot of vote-buying and trying to use the PVCs of unsuspecting voters. That was why some of their leaders were arrested. So the PDP should look for other excuses.
“They attempted to win by fraud; they failed in the first round and eventually lost the rerun election.”
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