By Ayo Kehinde
Pix 1 Agbogidi, His Royal Majesty, Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Nnaemeka Alfred Ugochukwu Achebe (6th from Right), presidential aspirant of Peoples Democratic Party and former Vice President of Nigeria, Atiku Abubakar (7th from Right), Director General, Atiku Presidential Campaign Organisation, Otunba Gbenga Daniel (9th from Right) and cabinet members of the Igwe and members of the delegation of APCO during Atiku’s courtesy visit to the monarch in Onitsha, Anambra State on Wednesday.
Pix 2. Saraki during his appearance before the PDP presidential screening committee in Abuja, recently
The All Progressives Congress (APC) has congratulated the party’s candidate, over his victory in the Osun State Governorship re-run elections. The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, declared Oyetola winner in a keenly contested election that went into a re-run on Thursday, September 27.
In a statement by Yekini Nabena, acting National Publicity Secretary, the party said; “the Osun Governorship victory is another morale boosting victory in the lead up to the 2019 General Elections and solid attestation of the people’s support for the Change Agenda of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led APC Change administration.
We assure the Osun electorate that the Party will continue to work in their interest through responsive and people-centered governance.
But Presidential aspirants on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, former President Atiku Abubakar and Senate President Bukola Saraki, described the poll’s result as a travesty of justice and electoral heist foisted on the people by a tripartite coalition of INEC, the APC and security personnel deployed to the state for the polls
According to Atiku: “The result just declared today in Osun by the Independent National Electoral Commission in favour of the All Progressives Congress and its candidate is a travesty of justice. That was not democracy. That was a demonstration of tyranny.
“The victory of the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Senator Ademola Adeleke, was firmly established last week on Saturday the 22nd of September, 2018.
“This so-called victory of the APC is not a democratic victory. Observers, both foreign and domestic, reported the brazen intimidation of voters and outright suppression of voting in PDP strongholds with even PDP agents physically prevented from being at the polling units.
“These actions showed to the whole world that this unnecessary rerun, in polling units cancelled or voided by the INEC, was nothing more than a red herring, to distract attention and gain time, while the ruling party perfected strategies to pull a fast one on the electorate, as it has done today.”
He pledged to stand by the defeated candidate of the party Senator Ademola Adeleke and the people of Osun State “today and tomorrow in your time of need.. I will be with you both in word and in action,”, while calling on the international community to support the country in its match to democracy.
Saraki in his reaction described Osun Re-run Poll as charade and urges PDP supporters to be law abiding
Saraki who was PDP Campaign Council on Osun State Governorship election, said it was a charade and an embarrassment to Nigeria’s democracy.
In a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu, Saraki stated that: “Yesterday, we witnessed another display of the subversion of the will of the Osun people during the re-run gubernatorial elections in the State. The election was characterised by widespread voter intimidation, violence and harassment
“It is surprising that the election in which on Saturday, the two leading candidates were running neck to neck with the PDP candidate having an edge, four days later, as a result of manipulations and impossible conditions, the APC candidate is now being credited with all the votes and some paltry number of votes were being recorded for the PDP candidate.
“It is important for Nigerians and the international community to insist that the hands of the clock should not be turned back in terms of the achievements we recorded in the last general elections. We should not make a mockery of democracy by conducting elections in the manner that the Osun Polls were conducted. The Osun election is a clear indication of how the 2019 election will be conducted. It demonstrates that if we cannot conduct free, peaceful and fair elections in seven polling units spread across four local government areas of a state, then the conduct of the general elections in 774 local government areas across 36 states of the country is already endangered.
“It is important to once again reiterate that the re-run election in Osun State is not only about Osun State. It serves as a reflection of our country and the way we are viewed by the world. Like I said a few days ago, this theft of the mandate given to Senator Ademola Adeleke, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate for the elections, will not stand. Our party will immediately commence the legal process aimed at reclaiming the sacred mandate of the people of Osun State.