• Wants poll’s cancellation, Adeleke declared winner
• Alleges vote rigging, bullying by APC thugs, security agencies
• Poll not credible, says observer group
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has rejected yesterday’s Osun State governorship supplementary election, calling for its cancellation and the declaration of its candidate Ademola Adeleke as winner.
Based on the result of the election, the All Progressives Congress’ (APC) candidate, Gboyega Oyetola, seemed likely to be declared winner by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The results are: Orolu Ward 9, Unit 3, APC: 41, PDP: 64; Orolu Ward 8, Unit 4, APC: 128, PDP: 55; Orolu Ward 8, Unit 1, APC: 111, PDP: 3; Osogbo LGA Ward 5, Unit 17, APC: 299, PDP: 165; Ife South: Ward 8, Unit 10, APC: 172, PDP: 21; Ife North LGA, Ward 10, Polling Unit II, Oyere II, APC: 126, PDP: 2; Ife South Ward 7, Unit 12, APC: 283, PDP: 15.
But at an emergency press briefing in Abuja, National Chairman Uche Secondus alleged that security agents prevented PDP members from accessing polling units to cast their votes.
He said: “Today is a black day for Nigeria. The right of the citizens to come out and vote has been trampled upon. The entire state, wards and units have been seized by security agencies acting on behalf of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to make sure the election is rigged by all means.
"We want to remind our security chiefs that they swore to defend Nigeria and defend and protect our parties. Nigeria is a multi-party state, a multi-party nation but what we have witnessed in Osun shows clearly that APC is not ready for election and we are afraid that Buhari will not hand over if he loses election next year."
He therefore asked that the exercise should be nullified in all the units where security agencies allegedly chased PDP members away, beat them up and seized their PVCs.
Similarly, the state chairman of the party, Soji Adagunodo, issued a statement condemning alleged vote rigging by the APC and security agencies.
He claimed that many eligible voters were chased away from their homes in Orolu, Ife North and Ife South Local Government Areas in the early hours of yesterday.
“Scores of our supporters in those local government areas were shot and macheted on their way to polling centres, in the full glare of security men. Hundreds of people holding PVCs from other polling units were accredited and allowed to vote in Osogbo and Ife South Local Government Areas. But the PDP agent in Olode was axed and abducted at about 7:00 a.m. yesterday.
“Media men and election observers were denied access in several polling units. By the time access was granted to journalists at about 11:00 a.m., APC agents, acting in connivance with INEC officials, had stuffed ballot boxes.
“It is regrettable that election in seven polling units could not be freely and fairly concluded by INEC. We therefore reject any return of results from this sham and call on INEC authorities in Abuja to direct that the so-called supplementary election result collation be put on hold. We equally invite leaders of thought in Nigeria and the international community to rise up and rescue Nigeria’s democracy from being ruined.”
In the same vein, PDP chieftain, Femi Fani-Kayode, declared: “There was no election in Osun today. It was violence all through. It was daylight robbery and theft. It was a violation of the dignity, rights and sovereignty of the people of Osun state and Yoruba land.”
He added: “Many of our people were insulted, intimidated, humiliated, beaten, wounded and maimed, and our supporters were chased away from the polling booths by thugs and security agents.”
An observer group, Centre for Democracy and Development West Africa (CDD), said the election fell below acceptable standards.
“The acts of intimidation by security forces and the violence unleashed by party thugs are suggestive of an attempt to compromise the integrity of the poll. Coming as the last off cycle election before the 2019 general election, the conduct of the security forces, politicians and their supporters are sources of concern,” CDD said in a statement by its director, Idayat Hassan.
The group also “observed attempts by members of the security forces to prevent some voters who allegedly belong to the opposition party from accessing PU012 Olode Ward 07 in Ife-South Local Government Area, even after showing their PVCs.”