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 on Saturday, Adeleke and Davido hugged. “We did it this time,” Adeleke said, with Davido replying, “Yes”.
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 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
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 successor 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.
Meanwhile, it was observed at different polling units that politicians induced voters to vote for their respective parties. It was 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.”
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