Categories
News

Osun rerun election not free, fair or credible — CDD

An election monitoring group, Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD), has faulted the ongoing 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.

Although, voting has closed at about 2:00 p.m across the seven polling units for the rerun, the official collation of results is yet to start in Osogbo as at the time of filing this report.

The rerun election is being held at seven polling units, three polling units in Orolu, two polling units in Ife South, one polling unit in Ife North local governments and one polling unit in Osogbo, the state capital where votes were cancelled during the Saturday 22nd September governorship election in the state.

On Saturday, Ademola Adeleke, the candidate of the People’s Democratic Party, polled 254,698 votes to beat Gboyega Oyetola, the All Progressives Congress, who trailed him with 254,345 votes.

INEC, however, declared the election inconclusive because the margin between the PDP and APC, 353 votes, is less than the number of registered voters, 3,498, in the seven polling units where elections were cancelled.

The director of the monitoring group, Idayat Hassan, said her organisation observed widespread misconduct by security agencies, including intimidation of accredited journalists, observers and even voters of the opposition party.

“CDD field observers deployed to observe the process and ensure its credibility, especially in Orolu and Osogbo LGAs, were intimidated, threatened and in some cases arrested by security forces,” CDD said.

Earlier today, The Guardian reported as INEC expressed concern over reports that some observers and journalists were being arrested and prevented from operating in some polling units in the exercise.

The commission said this in a tweet, adding, however, that the issue was being taken up with the security agencies.

The CDD observers reported “palpable tension in Ifon, Orolu LGAs due to the high-handed conduct of the security agents who seemed bent to sway the vote the way of certain partisan interests.”

“At Ajegunle Roundabout, which leads to Polling Unit 003 Ward 9 Gbogbo Primary School in Orolu LGA, security personnel mounted barricades to obstruct observer and deny them access to the polling unit.

“Observers who attempted to carry out their legitimate duties were arrested and taken to nearby police station. They were only released after being denied the opportunity to keep an eye on the process so as to guarantee its credibility,” the statement said.

CDD said, “In the face of the intimidation and unjust arrests, observers were forced to leave the Polling Units.”

The think-tank also confirmed widespread reports that potential voters of the opposition were being driven away from polling areas by security agencies.

“CDD also observed attempts by members of the security forces to prevent some voters who allegedly belong to opposition party from accessing PU012 Olode Ward 07 in Ife-South LG, even after showing their PVCs.

“Also, despite all efforts by INEC and civic group to ensure violence-free polls, some political actors mobilised thugs and hoodlums to intimidate voters, journalists and observers.

“Chang Mantu, a senior police officer involved in the coordination of security in the Osun election, explained in Osogbo that there was an attempt by some party men disguising as observers to gain access to Orolu in the early hours of Thursday. He said they were arrested by the police.

“According to him, they loaded in a bus and when they were screened, they were found to be members of a political party. He explained the development was the reason why there were restrictions into the area as it was difficult for security officials to know those who were genuine observers and journalists.

“Our observer also reported that election was disrupted in PU 17, Ward 5 Osogbo LGA as a result of sporadic shooting by some hoodlums. In terms of the sanctity of the vote, CDD observers reported over five attempts by impostors to vote with PVCs from other Wards at PU012 Olode Ward 07 in Ife-South LGA.

“Although these attempts were unsuccessful, they nonetheless reflect the kind of impunity, which undermines the credibility of the process,” it said.

“Coming as the last off-cycle election before the 2019 general election, the conduct of the security forces, politicians and their supporters are sources of concern to strengthening our democratic process.

The group thereby “recommend an urgent investigation of the roles and conduct of the security forces and political thugs in the Osun re-run with a view to sanctioning infractions”.

Source: GuardianNG

Categories
News

Osun: PDP to strike deal with Omisore, others

There were indications in Abuja on Sunday that the national leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party might strike a deal with a former Deputy Governor of Osun State, Senator Iyiola Omisore, in a bid to win the state rerun governorship election slated for Thursday, investigations by our correspondent have revealed.

Omisore is the governorship candidate of the Social Democratic Party in the election in which the candidate of the PDP, Senator Ademola Adeleke, came first with 254, 698 votes while the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Mr Gboyega Oyetola, came second with 254,345 votes.

The Independent National Electoral Commission has, however, said there would be rerun in some polling units where elections were cancelled.

The units, which were listed by the commission, are two in Orolu Local Government Area, one in Ife South Local Government Area, one in Ife North Local Government Area and one in Osogbo Local Government Area.

It was gathered that the PDP had already initiated discussions with Omisore towards winning the two units in his stronghold of Ife.

Apart from Omisore, the PDP was said to be planning to meet with candidates of other political parties that had what a source described as a “worthy outing” during the election on Saturday.

Such candidates, it was gathered, are African Democratic Congress’ Fatai Akinbade and Action Democratic Party’s Alhaji Moshood Adeoti.

Already, it was gathered that a former Minister of Aviation, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, had spoken with Omisore on the need for the latter to support the PDP candidate in the rerun.

Fani-Kayode, who is also from Ile Ife like the former deputy governor, confirmed that he had spoken with both Omisore and Adeleke on the issue.

The former minister told our correspondent that there was a need for the parties to come together and “bury the ruling party in the state on Thursday.”

He said, “Yes, it is true that I have spoken with my brother, Senator Omisore, and our (PDP) candidate, Senator Adeleke, on the issue.

READ ALSO: Don’t vote for APC, it has failed, Adebanjo tells Nigerians

“I can tell you confidently that both of them are receptive to the idea and I can tell you that we are going to meet together to discuss working relationship before Thursday.

“We are not talking about any condition. We are doing all these for the love of our party and our people. We need to liberate the state from the vultures and invaders of our commonwealth. By the grace of God, we shall do it.”

It was gathered that a former Governor of the state, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, would be involved in a discussion with Akinbade.

Oyinlola, it was learnt, would prevail on Akinbade, who served as the secretary to the state government while the former military administrator was the governor of the state, to support the deal.

Besides that, it was also learnt that the National Chairman of the PDP, Prince Uche Secondus, would personally speak with Akinbade, who was also a former state chairman of the PDP while Secondus was also chairman of the former ruling party in Rivers State.

Top sources in the PDP confided in our correspondent that the President of the Senate, Senator Bukola Saraki, who also heads the party’s 85-member governorship campaign council in the state, would be involved in the negotiations.

It was generally believed that Saraki’s efforts at bringing the runner-up in the party’s governorship primary in the state, Dr Akin Ogunbiyi, with Adeleke, helped the party on Saturday.

The source said, “We will involve Saraki in our meetings with these men. We cannot afford to lose the election in the state.

“Then, don’t forget that we have a working relationship with all the opposition political parties under the umbrella called Coalition of United Political Parties. We will invoke the spirit behind that.”

Source: PunchNG

Categories
News

Osun PDP forms coalition with Labour party to defeat APC

In a bid to ensure the victory of the major opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the Osun governorship election, a chieftain of the party, Dr. Akin Ogunbiyi on Tuesday wooed prominent members of the Labour Party to support the PDP.

With the state’s election holding in four days time, Ogunbiyi made this request while meeting with Labour Party’s bigwigs in Iwo Local Government Area of Osun.

In a statement signed by Ismail Afolabi, Ogunbiyi’s spokesperson, the former governorship aspirant said PDP is the viable alternative to the ruling All PC in Osun and therefore urged members of LP to align with it in order to defeat APC on Saturday.

“PDP is the most viable alternative to APC. We have to come together to dislodge the ruling party and restore the hope of Osun people,” Ogunbiyi said.

He called on the supporters of the sister opposition party to throw their weight behind PDP so as to dislodge the ruling party and emancipate Osun people.

“We are all on the same page in our struggle to build Osun of our dream. However, the political reality on ground requires a strong coalition and unity of purpose.”

Moved by Ogunbiyi’s statesmanship, the Labour Party’s bigwigs renounced their membership of their party and declared support for PDP.