Osun gov election: Adeleke’s camp jubilates, anxiety in Oyetola’s, INEC announces results


 •CSOs hail turnout, condemn massive vote-buying

As collation of results progressed in Saturday’s governorship election in Osun State, the ruling All Progressives Congress and the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party expressed great optimism that they would win the election.

Meanwhile, in a video that surfaced online, the PDP candidate, Ademola Adeleke and his nephew, award-winning Nigerian singer, David Adeleke, popularly known as Davido, were seen celebrating what they termed the PDP’s early lead.

In the video obtained by our correspondent on Saturday, Adeleke and Davido hugged. “We did it this time,” Adeleke said, with Davido replying, “Yes”.

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Also, wild jubilation engulfed PDP’s situation room, while the PDP claimed it was winning the election. However, based on the early results, there was anxiety in the camp of the APC and the governor, but an aide to the party’s chairman in the state dismissed claims that the party was jittery.

As of the time of filing this report, however, the Independent National Electoral Commission had yet to begin the announcement of results at the collation centre in Osogbo, the state capital. But checks on INEC’s result viewing portal showed that 28 out of the 30 local government areas had been fully uploaded on the portal, remaining Ife East and Orewole LGAs.

Some of the early results sighted by our correspondents showed that the two parties were in tight race in Osogbo, the state capital, Olorunda, Boluwaduro, Obokun, Egbedore and Oriade local government areas. Also, results viewed on the IReV portal randomly across the LGAs showed that the two parties were in a tight race.

No fewer than 15 political parties partook in the election but many believed the election was a two horse race between the candidate of the APC and incumbent governor of the state, Adegboyega Oyetola, and Senator Ademola Adeleke of the PDP.

Other candidates were Akin Ogunbiyi of Accord Party; Lasun Yusuff of Labour Party; Oyegoke Omigbodun of Social Democratic Party; Segun Awojide of African Action Congress; Kehinde Atanda of Action Democratic Party; Awoyemi Lukuman of Allied Peoples Movement; Adebayo Elisha of All Peoples Party; and Adeleke Adedapo of Boot Party.

Also, Rasaq Saliu of New Nigeria Peoples Party; Abede Samuel of National Rescue Movement; Ayowole Adedeji of Peoples Redemption Party; Ademola Adeseye of Young Peoples Party; and Adesuyi Olufemi of Zenith Labour Party.

The poll, which was held across 3,763 units in the 30 LGAs of the state, witnessed huge voter turnout and was largely peaceful. It was however characterised by massive vote-buying, which drew the condemnation of some candidates and civil society organisations

Oyetola, Adeleke win

Meanwhile, the APC candidate, who voted at ward 1, LA school, Popo, Iragbiji in Boripe Local Government Area, won his polling unit with 545 votes, while the PDP candidate had 69 votes.

His deputy, Benedict Alabi, also won his polling unit at ward 6, unit 7, Baptist Day School, Ikire, in Irewole Local Government Area with 206 votes while PDP scored 184.

The PDP candidate, who voted at Ward 2, unit 9, Abogunde/Sagba area in Ede North Local Government Area, polled 218 votes to defeat the APC candidate, who polled 23 votes. Accord Party scored one vote.

Ogunbiyi of the Labour Party, who voted at unit 003, Ward 005, Methodist Primary school, Ile-Ogbo in Ayedire Local Government Area of the state, also won his polling unit with 125 votes against APC’s 89 votes and PDP’s 63 votes.

The National Secretary of the APC, Iyiola Omisore, won his polling unit for his party. He voted at Ward 1, Moore Unit 003, Ile Ife in Ife East Local Government Area, where the APC scored 192 votes and the PDP 168 votes.

The APC also won at the polling unit of the former Interim National Chairman of the party, Chief Bisi Akande. At polling unit 12, ward 4, Isedo I, Ita Atewogbade, Ila-Orangun, where he voted, APC scored 140 votes while PDP scored 117 votes.

Despite the rift between the Oyetola’s camp of the APC and that of his predecessor and Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, the ruling party won at polling unit 1, ward 8, Isare Ifofin, Ilesa East Local Government Area. The APC scored 164 votes while the PDP scored 134 votes.

However, at the popular Agowande/Osogbo GRA/Governor’s office polling unit in Olorunda Local Government Area, the ruling APC, which scored 106, lost to the PDP, which scored 117.

Meanwhile, checks on INEC portal showed the PDP in early lead, with seven LGAs won, while the ruling APC had secured victory in four LGAs.

The LGAs won by the PDP were Osogbo, Olorunda, Ede South, Orolu, Odo Otin, Ifelodun and Irepodun.

In Osogbo, the PDP candidate, Adeleke, polled 30,401 votes, to trump APC’s Oyetola, who garnered 22,952 votes.

In Olorunda LGA, Adeleke polled 21, 350 votes while Oyetola got 18,709 votes.

In Ede South, Adeleke got 19,438 votes while Oyetola had 5,704 votes.

In Orolu LGA, Adeleke polled 10,282 votes, while Oyetola got 9,928 votes.

In Odo Otin LGA, Adeleke got 14,003 votes while Oyetola scored 13,482 votes.

In Ifelodun LGA, Adeleke scored 17,107 votes while Oyetola garnered 16,068 votes.

Adeleke also won Irepodun LGA with 14,369 votes while the APC candidate polled 12,122.

However, the APC defeated the PDP in Iwo LGA, Ayedade LGA, Boripe LGA and Isokan LGA.

In Iwo LGA, Oyetola scored 17, 421 to defeat Adeleke, who got 16,914 votes.

In Ayedade LGA, the APC got 14,527 votes to defeat Adeleke who had 13,380 votes.

In Boripe LGA, Oyetola also emerged victorious, polling 21,205 votes to defeat the PDP candidate who had 7595.

Oyetola won Isokan LGA by a slim margin, securing 10,833 votes while Adeleke got 10,777.

How vote-buying went

Meanwhile, our correspondents observed at different polling units that politicians induced voters to vote for their respective parties. Saturday PUNCH had reported that political parties already devised new strategies of inducing voters to avoid the prying eyes of security and anti-graft agents.

A coalition of over 80 civil society organisations, under the aegis of Nigerian Civil Society Situation Room, lamented the level of vote-buying by party agents.

It however commended the high turnout of voters, peaceful conduct of the exercise, adequate presence of security agents and efficiency of the BVAS machines.

The NCCSR in its second preliminary statement, signed by its co-conveners, Ene Obi, Asma’u Joda and James Ugochukwu, partly read, “There was open negotiation of buying and selling of votes, well-coordinated by the polling agents in many of the polling units. There were no complaints from any of them against one another.

“Codes and coupons were used to extract commitments from voters as opposed to the blatant way money exchanged hands in the Ekiti State governorship election. INEC’s deployment of materials and personnel should also be commended. Vote trading was recorded in most of the areas observed particularly outside Osogbo.”

It also pointed out that knowledge of voting procedures and civic education of voters was very poor while voting cubicles in many of the polling units were not positioned to ensure secrecy of the ballots making it possible for voters to show their votes to other people.

A civil society organisation and election observer group, Yiaga Africa, also condemned voter inducement in the election.

Yiaga Africa’s Executive Director, Samson Itodo, recommended that the security agencies should “impose appropriate sanctions for any form of violation of the Electoral Act on Election Day, especially any threat to the right to vote or attempts to buy votes”.

In a statement by the group, Itodo said, “Yiaga Africa received reports of acts of vote-buying perpetrated by agents of the APC and PDP in some polling units.

“Yiaga Africa observed voters showing how they mark their ballot papers to APC party agents before dropping them in the ballot box. Also, thugs associated with the APC threatened to stab any voter who did not vote for the APC.”

He however advised “INEC to continue to uphold the secrecy of the ballot by ensuring voting cubicles and ballot boxes are situated to guarantee the secrecy of the ballot.”

Ogunbiyi alleges vote-buying

The candidate of Accord Party in the election, Ogunbiyi, said vote-buying characterised the election in various parts of the state, especially Ayedire, Ile-Ogbo and Osogbo areas. He however commended INEC for the peaceful conduct of the election.

Ogunbiyi made the allegations shortly after he and his wife cast their vote at Ile-Ogbo Ward 1, Unit 1, Methodist Primary School.

He stated, “When I got to Ward 1 Unit 5, I observed that there was vote-buying with some people being offered N3,000 and N4,000 by different political parties. Even if l have the money to buy votes, I will not do such. I witnessed it; there was vote-buying in Osogbo and Ile-Ogbo. Let the whole world know what is happening.”

Speaking in an interview with our correspondents, both APC and PDP denied involvement in vote-buying while expressing confidence they would be victorious at the poll.

The Media Adviser to the APC chairman in the state, Kola Olabisi, told one of correspondents that the ruling party would be victorious, adding that security agents performed optimally.

He said, “We are confident of victory, but one cannot say empathically for now. It is the overall results that will determine the overall winner. Don’t forget that Oyetola has turned the whole state into a huge construction site. Osun people are not forgetful. They will reward him accordingly.”

On vote-buying, “Vote-buying is not in APC’s dictionary. Where I was, I didn’t witness it, so I don’t know about it.”

The Director of Media and Publicity in Osun PDP, Oladele Oluwabamiji, said results already received indicated that the party was in a good place.

He said, “We are not just confident, we are arrogantly confident that the PDP will win convincingly going by the results coming in from across the state. I don’t want to be speculative, but by the grace of God, we are confident without being immodest.”

On vote-buying, he stated, “Though we tried to curtail vote-buying, APC still did it. You can’t be rejected by the people and you still expect them to vote for you. They see vote-buying as their only lifeline.”

I’m winning – Adeleke

Also, the candidate of the PDP said he was sure of winning the election. Adeleke told one of our correspondents in a telephone interview, “I am sure of winning. We are winning the election. The results are coming in and they are encouraging. We won’t allow anyone rig the election. The people of Osun State cannot be short-changed.”

DIG confirms arrest

The Deputy Inspector-General of Police in charge of the poll, Johnson Kokumo, commended security agents for putting in their best during the poll. He said some arrests were made and that those found culpable after investigations would be prosecuted.

He told Sunday PUNCH in an interview, “We made some arrests. At the close of the day, we will do the sorting and know those who were arrested for vote-buying and possession of dangerous weapons. After arrest, what follows is diligent investigation. Thereafter, we will do prosecution. We will have to do the prosecution in synergy with INEC because INEC has the prosecutorial powers. Also, security agencies put up a commendable performance during the poll. They put in their best.”

ICPC arrests vote-buyers

The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission said its operatives arrested three persons suspected of buying votes.

In a statement posted on its Facebook page, the commission disclosed that one Dapo Olayode, Kamorudeen Nafisat and Ojuade Musbau Olaniyi were arrested lists containing the names of voters in different polling units, and that Android phones were collected from some of them.

It noted that thugs attacked some of its operatives in front of Oba’s Palace, Esa-Oke, Ibokun Local Government Area, adding that a vote buyer was caught with a list containing names of 100 persons expecting to be paid N5,000 each. “The team leader sustained serious injury in the fracas that ensued but the team was able to retrieve the book containing the list of 100 voters,” it said, noting that investigations were ongoing.

Similarly, the spokesperson for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Wilson Uwujaren, said operatives from the Ilorin and Ibadan commands of the commission arrested some suspected vote buyers. He, however, said he did not have a specific number of suspects as of the time of filing the report. “I am sure there were arrests,” Uwujaren added.

PDP claims victory

However, the PDP in a statement said any attempt to manipulate the election result would be rejected.

The party’s National Publicity Secretary, Debo Ologunagba, said, “Our party charges INEC and the APC leadership in Abuja to note that the course of the election is already known to all and that the people of Osun State will never accept any outcome to the contrary.

The state chapter of the party, in a statement by the Acting Chairman, Dr Akindele Adekunle, claimed it had won the election going by the results at its disposal. “We specifically call on the electoral commission to watch fifth columnists within its fold who may have been contracted for the hatchet job. Osun people have decided and their votes must be respected,” it added.

Adeleke, Davido celebrate

Meanwhile, results from the IReV showed that Adeleke was leading with over 10,000 votes.

As of 08.45pm, a compilation of the results showed that PDP had over 94,803 votes and PDP had over 81,697 votes.

But the Director General of the Campaign Council of Governor Adegboyega Oyetola’s re-election, Senator Ajibola Basiru, described as irresponsible PDP’s claim that it had won the election while collation was still ongoing.

In a statement in Osogbo on Saturday evening, he said, “Going by the result so far declared, there was no way PDP could lay claim to any victory. The PDP’s claim is tantamount to standing logic on its head.”

Voters express anger

Some voters at Ilare Ward 2, Unit 008, Ile Ife in Ife Central Local Government area, were angry, complaining over the failure of politicians to redeem their promise to pay them for voting for their parties.

An embittered voter, who said he voted following alleged promise by PDP members to pay him N5,000 after voting, said, “Here I am, after voting, there is nobody to pay me and as well as others here.”

At Ward 1, Moore units 003 and 004 in Ife East LG, Ile Ife, there was loud noise over vote-buying as voters who could not get paid while their counterparts received such resorted to complaints.

The vote buyers in the APC and PDP in the two locations carried out their activities discreetly in the expansive location.

APC National Secretary, Senator Iyiola Omisore, who voted at Moore Ward 003, faulted claims that the election was characterised by voter inducement at some polling units. When asked about vote-buying and voter intimidation in the area, Omisore said, “I am not aware and I did not see anybody engaged in such. I cannot see any sign of what you have said. The election has been peaceful.”

Nonagenarians express hope

A 95-year-old man, Adekunle Benjamin, and 90 year-old Mrs Shabina Oladipo spotted while voting at their polling units in Oogi town, Ayedaade Local Government Areas, said they decided to participate in the exercise because they still had hope in the country. Benjamin, who commended INEC for the timely arrival of their officials, told the News Agency of Nigeria at Unit 7, Ward 8 in Oogi, “I have been voting since 1952. I still have faith in this country.”

Also, Oladipo said she came out early to vote because of her desire for peace and development of the state. She said she believed her preferred candidate, if victorious, would fulfil his campaign promises. The Presiding Officer, Miss Asogwa Ngozika, said they arrived at the polling unit at 6:30 am.

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