Some eminent Nigerians yesterday expressed their thoughts on the declaration of the governorship election as inconclusive by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The electoral body declared the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Ademola Adeleke, as scoring 254,698 votes, closely followed by Gboyega Oyetola of the All Progressives Congress, (APC) with 254,345 votes.
In view of the slim margin of 353 votes, which made PDP top the result, INEC’s Chief Returning Officer, Joseph Adeola Fuwape, declared the election inconclusive and scheduled to hold a re-run on Thursday 27 September.
The decision elicited mixed reactions from Nigerians.
President of the Senate and Chairman, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential Council on Osun State Gubernatorial Election, Dr. Bukola Saraki, faulted the declaration of the election results as inconclusive.
Saraki, in a statement signed by him, expressed dismay over the decision by INEC to declare as inconclusive an election in which a candidate won the highest number of votes and fulfilled the condition for geographical spread.
“In my lay man’s opinion, the INEC was wrong in declaring the election as inconclusive because the votes in certain polling units were cancelled.
The decision of INEC to cancel the election in those areas after voting had taken place means INEC had already excluded the votes in these areas from the election process and therefore those units should have no place in the overall results.
“My opinion would have been different if the election in the affected units did not take place at all, may be as a result of malfunctioning of the card reader machine or unavailability of the electoral materials.
Since the voting took place and was cancelled, only the courts could reverse the initial decision by INEC to cancel the votes in these areas.
“That is why I call on our party and its candidate to seek further legal interpretation on this decision by the electoral body.
One cannot but wonder whether if the places were reversed and the candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) is the one leading in the election, the INEC will take the same decision it has taken now.”
Former vice president and presidential aspirant of the PDP, Atiku Abubakar, cautioned INEC against tampering with the results. Using his verified twitter handle @atiku, he said the people of Osun had made their choice.
To former Minister of Aviation, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, the result is a clear indication that the PDP is alive.
In his account, @realFFK he said: “One thing that is clear from the Osun State results no matter which way it finally goes is that @OfficialPDPNig is alive and well in the state and Nigeria.
We will field a formidable candidate for the February 2019 election who will be elected as the next president of Nigeria.