Leaders and members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are currently protesting against the outcome of the recently concluded Osun State Governorship election.
PDP leaders including the national chairman of the party, Uche Secondus; Senate President Bukola Saraki; Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, led the protesters to the headquarter of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Abuja.
This was after they had earlier converged at the national headquarters of the PDP in Abuja.
The protesters are demanding that INEC declare PDP candidate Ademola Adeleke as the winner of the Osun election.
Wearing T-shirts with various inscriptions, the protesters claim that the Nigeria Police and INEC are arms of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
According to them, the outcome of the Osun governorship poll is electoral fraud and can be likened to corruption.
Also among the protesters are Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State; former Niger State Governor and presidential aspirant Sule Lamido; former Kano Governor and presidential aspirant Rabiu Kwankwaso, Senator Dino Melaye, Senator Ben Murray-Bruce, and others.
The protesters after the protest at INEC headquarters also headed to Police headquarters in Abuja.
However, a barricade was formed by police officers who also dispersed the protesters with tear gas.
The APC Campaign Council for the Osun governorship election has expressed satisfaction with the outcome of Thursday’s supplementary election in the state.
The party said the people have “emphatically pitched their tent with the ruling party.”
In a statement signed on Thursday by the Chairman of the Council’s Media Committee, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the Council also congratulated the Governor-elect, Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola, the outgoing Governor Rauf Aregbesola and all APC members for the “well deserved but hard-earned victory.”
APC in the statement also commended INEC and the security agencies for what they described as a “largely peaceful and orderly election, as attested to by local and international observers.”
The Council said the biggest winner in the election is the democracy and gave the credit to Osun voters as well as the ruling APC.
”As a party of change, we believe strongly in the democratic process. We believe in the ability of the relevant institutions to carry out their assigned responsibilities and we believe in the ability of the people to do what is right.
“This is the right thing to do, considering the impressive performance of the APC-government in Osun in the last eight years,” it said.
The Council advised the opposing Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to stop issuing threats but to take full advantage of the democratic process if it has any grouse with the supplementary election.
The police also arrested another man perceived to be obstructing the voting process at another polling unit also in Osogbo.
Earlier, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) also expressed concern over reports that some observers and journalists were being arrested and prevented from operating in some polling units in the Osun State governorship supplementary election.
The commission said this in a tweet, adding, however, that the issue was being taken up with the security agencies.
The Police have arrested 16 persons for the alleged possession of illegal INEC observer tags, face caps and jackets during the Osun Governorship rerun.
The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, SP Folasade Odoro, disclosed this in a statement on Thursday.
“Police team on stop and search duties at Orolu; intercepted vehicles with sixteen persons on board in possession of customized INEC tags, face cap and jackets with the inscription of “INEC Osun 2018 Election Observer,” Odoro said.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has expressed concern over reports that some observers and journalists were being arrested and prevented from operating in some polling units in the Osun State governorship supplementary election.
In a tweet on Thursday, the electoral umpire said the issue was being taken up with the security agencies.
INEC is disturbed about reports that accredited media and observers are being arrested or prevented from operating in some polling units. This is being taken up with the security agencies.#OsunDecides2018
INEC had declared last Saturday’s election inconclusive after announcing that the margin between the two top candidates was less than the total number of votes in polling units where voting was cancelled.
The Nigeria police force has filed charges against a governorship aspirant in the upcoming Osun State election, Senator Ademola Adeleke, at the Federal High Court in Abuja.
The charges against the Senator include examination malpractice, aiding and abetting, impersonation, and criminal conspiracy.
The police has therefore asked Adeleke to report at the Special Investigation Panel alongside Mr Sikiru Adeleke, Alhaji Aregbesola Mufutau (Principal of Ojo-Aro Community Grammar School, Egbedore LGA, Osun State), Mr Gbadamosi Thomas Ojo (School Staff allegedly responsible for the registration of candidates for NECO) and Mr Dare Olutope (School Teacher who allegedly facilitated the commission of the crime).
Police spokesperson, Jimoh Moshood, told journalists on Wednesday that investigations revealed that Senator Adeleke and his brother Sikiru Adeleke registered and sat for the National Examination Council Examination (NECO) 2017 as internal candidates, impersonating students of the school at the ages of 57 and 42 years respectively.
Moshood explained further that both Senator Adeleke and his brother Sikiru Adeleke’ s pictures were captured in the school’s photo book of 2017 but no NECO seal was found on their photos, unlike the rest of the students.
The Police also in a statement on Wednesday added that investigation revealed some culpability facts against Senator Ademola Adeleke and four others.
“Senator Ademola Adeleke made cautionary statement and admitted that he registered for the 2017 NECO examinations as an internal student in the said school and did not sit for the examination but have a result from NECO with Seven (7) Credit and One (1) Pass, a copy of which was obtained from NECO by the Police.
“The Ojo/Aro 2017 NECO, SSCE school photo album (School’s copy), with Senator Ademola Adeleke and Sikiru Adeleke Photographs in school uniform in the said album. Senator Ademola Adeleke in the NECO 2017 Result obtained by the claimed that he was born on 12th June 1997 but in his statement to the Police, senator Ademola Adeleke wrote 13th May 1960 as his date of birth.
“The photographs of both Senator Ademola Adeleke and Sikiru Adeleke appearing side by side in the photo album have no NECO stamps on them,” the statement read in part.
The meeting of the electoral panel set up by the leadership of the All Progressive Congress (APC) with all the governorship aspirants of the party nearly got disrupted on Thursday by agitators for the zoning of the party’s ticket to Osun West Senatorial District.
The protesters booed one of the aspirants who is the Chief of Staff to Governor Rauf Aregbesola, Gboyega Oyetola, when he introduced himself to members of the committee at the APC secretariat in Osogbo, the Osun State capital.
While Oyetola is believed to be the preferred candidate of the party’s leadership of the party, the aggrieved members faulted the zoning arrangement shouting, “it is the turn of the western zone of the state to produce the next governor.”
The atmosphere was charged as the APC supporters also shouted down the party State Chairman, Gboyega Awomolo, whom they accused of being bought over by the power that be.
Despite the appeal of the committee members to calm the tension, they warned against the imposition of candidate, describing such as “unfair, wickedness, callousness, and a daylight robbery of those that come from the West.”
The lawmaker representing Delta State Central District, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, presided over the meeting in the absence of the electoral committee chairman, Governor Adul’Aziz Yari of Zamfara State.
Senator Omo-Agege asked the aggrieved members of the party to be calm, assuring them that the conduct of the primary election would be a direct one, as well as a fair, transparent, and free exercise.
He said nobody can buy any member of the party, stressing that eligible voters would have registered their names in the party’s register.
The lawmaker added that whosoever that might want to vote would have to appear in person, insisting that there would be no voting by proxy and each voter must come with his or her valid voter card or a valid membership card.
Omo-Agege assured members of the APC of adequate security for effective monitoring of the exercise while the committee would not allow favouritism, nepotism and segregation to take over the primary.
Despite winning the Osun governorship election, the All Progressives Congress (APC) has said there was no level playing field in the election.
The party’s statement is hinged on reported cases and claims of arrests and harassment of the party’s leaders days before the election by security agents in the state.
A spokesman for the party, Lai Mohammed, on Wednesday, claimed he was arrested by men of the State Security Service without justifiable reasons and insisted that it was a violation of his right which he would contest in a court.
Mr Mohammed stressed that the credibility of an election was adjudged by the the process – what happened before, during and after the election.
He said that the election, though won by his party, left many lessons and unpleasant situations that must be addressed in future elections.
“There are many lessons that we need to take away from the Osun election won by the incumbent governor Rauf Aregbesola.
“The first and most important to our party is the issue of a level playing field for everybody. I want to say that there was no level playing field at the Osun election,” he said.
The APC spokesman listed two bodies as central to any election – the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and security agencies.
He also pointed out that the overall body involved in an election was the Federal Government, but stressed that the government must at all times be non-partisan.
“The Federal Government must be non-partisan in its approach to any election because it controls structures, including INEC and the security.
“We have no issues at all if security is brought to an election in a state to ensure a level playing ground for everybody, but when you bring the security to tip the election in favour of one party against the other, we start getting worried,” Mr Mohammed said.
“Uniform On Hoodlums”
He further explained that his party received reports that, about two weeks to the election, a convoy of personnel of the State Security Service in about 50 trucks drove through Oshogbo, some wearing masks and shooting in the air, a situation he said was capable of causing tension and apprehension in the state.
Mr Mohammed listed other cases of harassment of groups and individuals meant to create fear in the minds of the people, claiming that some of the men dressed in civil defence uniform were not trained officials of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps.
“I was abducted and those who abducted me are not official police or Department of Security Service (DSS) men because they had their mask on without a name tag.
“We were about to have a meeting with the governor and right on the street behind the governor’s residence we met a road check and we were asked to come down and identify ourselves.
“I identified myself as Lai Mohammed and the asked me to go into a the bus. I asked why I should get into the bus, they said I was under arrest and forced me into the bus with a gun to my head. We got into the bus and we met these masked men that were very hostile. They took my phone and took us to the DSS office in the state.
We were brought down and were held for about two three hours until an officer volunteered to accompany us to where our vehicles were. We got to our car and our driver had been beaten.
“When you put uniform on hoodlums and you put protection on hoodlums, it is not right and it endangers the lives of the people,” he said, sharing some of his experiences at the Osun election.
He stressed that the APC would go to court to contest the infringement of rights so that “lessons would be learnt”.
INEC Did Right
He said that the APC did not win the election because security was impartial or because INEC wanted it, but because the party fought for it.
“We embarked on very rigorous voters education to achieve result. We also engaged INEC robustly on issues that we felt could mar the election. When we noticed discrepancies in the voters’ register we wrote a letter to them, identifying the issues.
“We insisted that the register that should be used for the election should be the register that was used for the distribution of the permanent voter’s card.
Commending the electoral commission for their efforts in the election, he pointed out that the INEC did right by allowing agents to be at the polling unit and allowing the result to be declared at the polling units.
The APC leader further gave credit to the people of Osun who came out to vote and defend their vote, insisting that if anything was done right in the Osun election, it was the people of Osun that should take credit.
He dismissed claims that the APC announced the result of the election before the electoral commission declared Aregbesola the winner.
Mr Mohammed also reiterated that it was possible to have huge number of security personnel in isolated elections like, Edo, Ondo, Anambra, Ekiti and Osun, but cautioned that such number of security officials would not be available at the general election, where different states would be participating.
In all the isolated elections held in Nigeria, security personnel from different states are usually deployed in the state holding the election to ensure that the process will be peaceful, but the development is creating doubts about how peaceful the 2015 general elections will be with fewer security officials in the states.
The national chairman of the Labour Party, Dan Nwanyanwu, has described the governorship election, which held on Saturday in Osun State, as an improvement from that of Ekiti State, saying Mr Rauf Aregbesola was clearly the peoples candidate.
Mr Nwanyanwu said, both the election processes and the conduct of the election were better than the previous election.
He added that the election was transparent and there would be no need for stake holders to waste their time going to court.
On Channels Television’s programme, Sunrise Daily, the Labour Party leader stressed that Nigerians should imbibe the culture of being good sports men and women by accepting defeat and going back to the drawing board.
Mr Nwanyanwu also commended the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the security agencies for their efforts in ensuring that the election was free and fair.
The Labour Party leader added that politicians needed to learn how to be responsible in Nigeria, insisting that those who opposed having security agents were those planning mayhem during the elections.
“Those who are opposed to having security agencies, policemen, security men and women are those planning mayhem during an election,” he stressed.
He added that there could never be too many security agencies during the election and that as long as politicians see elections as a do or die process, security agents would always be needed.
He however said that his party’s candidate, Alhaji Fatai Akinbade, complained that there was no level playing field as monetary inducements were freely used .
Mr Nwanyanwu added that Nigeria should start preparation for the February 2015 election so as to replicate the Osun poll.
He maintained that the government in partnership with the INEC should ensure that enough security personnel go round to achieve a successful electoral process in the 2015 election.
The national leader of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Bola Tinubu, has condemned what he called the massive deployment of security forces to Osun State during the governorship election.
Addressing journalists in Lagos on Monday, Mr Tinubu said that the idea of using security operatives to intimidate people was not only repulsive but counter-productive and should stop forthwith.
Speaking to Channels Television on the back of the APC’s victory in the Osun election, Tinubu said; “We will celebrate this victory over tyranny, the abuse of power, the misuse of public resource, it is not an acceptable standard of operation.
“Is our liberty subject to gunpoint? APC is the cure for this tyranny, its for change,” he said.
However, the Nigerian President, Goodluck Jonathan, has defended the deployment of security operatives to Osun State for the August 9 governorship election.
Speaking at the opening session of the Interfaith Summit in Abuja on Monday, August 11, President Jonathan wondered why politicians would condemn the deployment of security personnel for elections in the country.
The President went back memory lane to recount the ordeal of Nigerians and particularly Youth Corps members who lost their lives as a result of crisis that erupted from the 2011 general elections.
He also recalled the loss of property worth millions of Naira in Kano, adding that “some of the people have not built back their houses.”
President Jonathan, insisting that he does not agree with the call, reiterated the clarity of his promise to give Nigerians a free and fair election.
The All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate in the Osun governorship election, Rauf Aregbesola, was declared winner of the Osun election by the Independent National Electoral Commission.
Aregbesola won the elections in 22 out of the 30 Local Government Areas of the state, polling 394,684 votes to defeat his opponents.