Senator Ademola Adeleke, the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), in the Osun State Governorship Election, has vehemently condemned the rerun election held on Thursday, saying that he will retrieve his stolen mandate from the candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr. Gboyega Oyetola, who was declared winner of the election.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Friday morning, despite irregularities reported by journalists and observers, said that the rerun election went smoothly and declared the APC candidate as winner.
Mr. Adeleke, even before the declaration by INEC rejected the result, saying that it will be foolish to accept a 419 result.
“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,” he said through his brother Dele Adeleke.
PDP vehemently condemned Osun Rerun election
The national leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Thursday in Abuja also rejected the rerun election in Osun State.
The party noted that the Thursday rerun election was one of the worst days in the history of the nation, describing it as a black day for Nigeria.
Prince Uche Secondus, the National Chairman of the PDP, who spoke regarding the irregularities that marred the Osun rerun election, said that Osun was under siege and the citizens right were trampled upon by security agents with the backing of the ruling party and INEC.
“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,” he said.
He further challenged INEC to cancel all polling units where members of PDP were prevented from voting and declare Senator Adeleke winner of the election.
APC says PDP is only crying because of its inability to rig the election
The ruling APC however said that the PDP is only crying foul over the outcome of the election because of its inability to rig the election.
According to the APC in a statement issued by Mr. Kunle Oyatomi, the party’s Director of Publicity, Research and Strategy in Osun State, “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.”
CUPP describes Osun Rerun as a “show of shame”
The Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) also condemned the rerun election, describing it as a show of shame.
The CUPP expressed worry that INEC and Nigerian security forces are turning into an organ of the ruling APC.
According to a statement issued on Thursday by CUPP spokesman, Ikenga Ugochinyere, the group said that it was unfortunate that the same INEC that claimed to have cancelled the earlier results of some polling units over disruption “watched with collaborative silence as security forces comprising the police, civil defence, Federal Road Safety Corps, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, Nigeria Immigration Service, Nigeria Customs Service and the Nigerian Army comfortably turned themselves into the joint militant wing of the vote-stealing APC.”
“For the very first time in Nigeria’s electoral history, accredited journalists and observers were manhandled and stopped from accessing voting areas. Security forces watched while APC thugs molested and intimidated voters, dispossessed them of their Permanent Voter Cards and abducted accredited agents of the opposition.
“The deduction of votes from Senator Adeleke, the fictitious adding of votes for Alhaji Adegboyega Oyetola, and suspicious declaration of an election adjudged by all INEC accredited observers as the freest and fairest in recent times as inconclusive due to disruptions is akin to INEC discrediting its own process just to please the APC.”
CDD says Osun rerun election did not meet standard for a free and fair election
The Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD), a civil society organization, said that the conduct of the Osun rerun election on Thursday was contrary to democratic norms and standards.
The group noted that some incidents recorded during the poll undermined the sanctity of the votes and the credibility of the electoral process.
According to Idayat Hassan, the CDD Director, it observers who were on ground during the rerun reported denial of voters access to the polling units, adding that tension was in Ifon and Orolu LGAs due to the “high-handed conduct of the security agents who seemed bent to sway the votes in the way of certain partisan interests.”
“At Ajegunle Roundabout, which leads to Polling Unit 003, Ward 9, in the Orolu LGA, security personnel mounted barricades to obstruct observers and deny them access to the polling unit. Observers were arrested and taken to a nearby police station. A CDD observer, Kemi Busari, was arrested by the police on the pretext that he took pictures around a polling unit.
“CDD also observed attempts by the security forces to prevent some voters who allegedly belong to an opposition party from accessing PU012 in the Olode Ward 07 in Ife-South Local Government Area, even after showing their PVCs.”
“Also, despite all efforts by INEC and civic groups to ensure violence-free polls, some political actors mobilised thugs and hoodlums to intimidate voters, journalists and observers. Our observer also reported that election was disrupted in PU 17, Ward 5, Osogbo LGA as a result of sporadic shooting by some hoodlums. In terms of the sanctity of the vote, CDD observers reported over five attempts by impostors to vote with PVCs from other wards at PU012 Olode Ward 07 in the Ife-South LGA.
“In the light of these anti-democratic acts, which have undermined the sanctity of the ballot, therefore, we hold strongly the view that the rerun poll of Thursday did not meet up with the minimum standards for free, fair and credible elections. It falls short of global best practices in democratic elections which Nigeria aspires towards.”