A chieftain of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Dr Akin Ogunbiyi, has denounced the Thursday’s Osun state governorship re-run election as a rape of democracy and temporary setback which should not stand.
In a statement signed by his media aide, Afolabi Ismail, he alleged that the exercise was anti-democratic and far from being free, fair and credible.
He noted that intimidation of voters, harassment of PDP leaders, journalists and domestic observers during the exercise were clear affirmation of the ruling All Progressives Party’s desperation to win at all cost using government institutions and thugs.
“It is regrettable that a normal electoral process that should be free and fair turned into a theatre of war” Ogunbiyi lamented and also sympathised with the families of those who lost their loved ones or brutalised during the re-run election.
Several reports from observers also noted that the Thursday’s rerun election was marred by irregularities and intimidation perpetrated by political thugs despite the huge deployment of security operatives at the polling units.
An election monitoring group, Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD), also faulted the rerun election in Osun State as anti-democratic.
The CDD noted that the number of the incidents recorded during the poll have undermined the sanctity of the vote and the overall credibility of the electoral process.
“We hold strongly the view that the re-run poll of Thursday, September 27, 2018, does not meet up with the minimum standards for free, fair and credible elections,” the CDD said in a statement.
“It falls short of global best practices in democratic elections which Nigeria aspires towards,” it added.
Despite the irregularities reported by journalists and observers, INEC officials at the collation centre all said the election went on smoothly.
Ogunbiyi, who was one of the aspirants that lost in the party primary to Adeleke Ademola, extolled the Ede-born candidate, the PDP governorship candidate and the entire party for putting up a good fight and also urged him to use every legitimate means to reclaim his mandate, affirming that the battle is not over.