The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Sunday rejected in its entirety the declaration of the September 22 governorship election in Osun State by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, as inconclusive.
The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC had declared the election inconclusive because the difference in votes between the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and the All Progressives Congress, APC, the two top contenders in the election. The commission also announced Thursday, September 27 as the new date for rerun.
The returning officer for the governorship election, Prof. Joseph Adeola, who announced the results reeled out the total number of valid votes to be 767,955 and rejected votes to be 47,843. He added that the margin between the PDP and APC which is 353, and the total cancelled ballots totalling 3348 will not make any party a winner of the contest, in line with electoral act.
The PDP insists that the process was conclusive and that its candidate, Senator Ademola Adeleke, who won a total of 254, 698 votes, is in clear lead and should be immediately declared winner by INEC, having met the requirements of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).
But on its part, the APC hailed the Osun electorate, INEC, security agencies and relevant stakeholders “over the conduct of Saturday’s inconclusive governorship election in the state which was largely peaceful despite some reported irregularities.” The party in power added that its government will continue to improve on the nation’s electoral processes, particularly correcting some irregularities witnessed in Saturday’s election in Osun State.
PDP spokesman, Kola Oligbondiyan, in a statement in Abuja, said: “Section 179 (2) (a)(b) of the 1999 Constitution, (as amended), is clear and very unambiguous in spelling out the conditions for returning a candidate to the office of governor of a state.
“This section states inter-alia, “A candidate for an election to the office of Governor of a State shall be deemed to have been duly elected where, there being two or more candidates – (a) he has the highest number of votes cast at the election; and (b) he has not less than one-quarter of all the votes cast in each of at least two-thirds of all the local government areas in the State.
“The declaration of the election as inconclusive, by INEC is therefore a sordid robbery of the franchise of the people of Osun State, who participated in the election.
“It is obvious that having failed in their schemes to alter the final results due to the resistance of the people, the APC had to bear pressure on INEC to declare the election inconclusive so as to pave way for the perfection of their manipulative schemes, which the people of Osun state have firmly resisted so far.
“Instead of yielding to the evil machination of the APC, INEC should have summoned the patriotic courage to immune itself and end this needless controversy by returning the PDP and declare our candidate as the winner.”
The statement read further, “It is instructive to state that the PDP will no longer accept inconclusive elections as subterfuge by the APC attain its dubious electoral manipulative schemes in our nation.
“The people of Osun state and the entire nation are already aware that the PDP won this election. They have the authentic figures from the polling units and know the candidate the voters prefer.
“The people by their votes, have overwhelmingly declared for our candidate and we are not ready to accept any attempt by anybody to use any means whatsoever to steal our mandate freely given by the people.
“The PDP is for peace, but we will not hesitate to use every force available in a democracy to face any attempt to subvert the will of the people or rig us out in this election.
“The PDP therefore charges the Chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu to avoid the fury of the people by immediately reversing this fraudulent decision of the Resident Electoral Commissioner and declaring our candidate the winner of the election. Anything short of this is definitely not acceptable to the PDP and the people of Osun and it is a direct recipe for crisis.
“Finally, the PDP cautions INEC and the APC to note that the game is up. The people of Osun state have decided in favour of the PDP and that has become a fact that can never be altered.”
Meanwhile, in a statement by its spokesperson, Yekini Nabena, the APC commended the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration for continually exhibiting its commitment to ensuring that elections are more peaceful, transparent, credible and acceptable.
“This is a departure from the situation under past Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) administrations where the people’s will was subverted and elections where manipulated. We hereby reject the PDP’s baseless calls that the inconclusive Osun governorship election is announced in its favour.
“In the leadup to the rerun election, we call on the Osun electorate, party supporters and members to remain upbeat and focused on the task of consolidating on the APC Change administration in the state by voting for the victory of our candidate, Gboyega Oyetola,” the statement read.