By Gbenga Ariyibi
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has declared Chief Ayo Arise as winner of Saturdayâ€™s senatorial re-run election which took place in all the five local governments of the state making up the senatorial district, having scored 36,674 votes.
Ariseâ€™s arch political rival, Mr Bunmi Adetunbi of the Action Congress (AC) recorded 17,602 votes.
The re-run election was sequel to the judgement of the Court of Appeal, Ilorin Division which has affirmed the decision of the lower tribunal ordering a re-run election in the five local governments of Ikole, Oye, Ido/Osi, Ilejeme and Moba.
The INEC Returning Officer , Mr. Salihu Yaâ€™u, who announced the final results yesterday said the total votes cast by all the nine political parties that participated in the re-run election was 58,799.
Out of this number only 54, 333 were according to him, valid, while 4, 466 were voided.
In his remark, the INEC Deputy Secretary (Operations), Mr. Abdul Rahman Madaki, commended all the candidates of all the political parties that participated in the election and other stakeholders towards making the election a success story
The INEC boss, however, called the winner of the election to be magnanimous in victory, he admonished Mr Adetunbi to be a gallant loser, noting that somebody must emerge a winner in any electoral contest.
According to the statement issued in Ado Ekiti yesterday by Mr Yemi Adaramodu, the Director of Communications, Kayode Fayemi Campaign Organisation said the distribution of non-serialised voters register and non accrditation of election monitors by the INEC was a clear signal that the election would be rigged.
Maurice Iwuâ€™s INEC, a clone of PDP had done what it is notorious for. It had again performed its role as democracy undertaker in returning Mr. Ayo Arise in a free rigging exercise of Ekiti North Senatorial rerun election.
The devious signal was obvious when INEC distributed non-serialized ballot papers, refused to display votersâ€™ register and denied independent observers and journalists accreditation to cover the rerun election.
This latest addition of INEC to Nigeriaâ€™s electoral catalogue of woes is only a confirmation that electoral democracy would remain a still birth in the satanic clinic of Maurice Iwu.
….As AC condemns election, heads for tribunal
EKITI State chairman of the Action Congress (AC) Chief Olajide Awe has said the party would seek legal redress in court just as he described the re-run election as as exercise in futility.
He said this while reacting to the outcome of the Ekiti North Senatorial re-run which saw Senator Ayo Arise emerged as the winner.
Arise garnered 36,000 votes to beat his opponent and Action Congress candidate, Mr Olu Adetunmbi who got 17,000 votes in the five local government areas that make up the senatorial district.
Awe, who spoke with Vanguard, frowned at the conduct of the election said â€œwe thought Saturdayâ€™s elections would be an improvement on the performance of INEC, the security agents and the politicians but it was not an improvement. It was even worse than those of 2007 and the re-run election.â€
According to him, the re-run election further goes to show that â€œthe PDP and INEC are desperate and they exhibited this desperation to the highest level. So, the election fell short of any electoral standard.â€
The AC boss argued that â€œJudging by the non placement of voters’ register, no sampling of votersâ€™ card or ballot paper and again, there was flagrant disrespect to all electoral ethics. In a situation where those who were supposed to vote in Ayetoro Ekiti in a ward there, could not find their names on the electoral list. And so, there was no voting there”.
An electoral register that was meant for Ifaki Ekiti surfaced at Ido and that of the ward could not be located at all. A ward in Ido of about nine polling units, seven out nine lists were missing.â€
On the next line of action, he explained that â€œWe will definitely go to court because when evil of such magnitude is left unchallenged, it encourages the perpetrators and that might not augur well for us. So, I believe that by doing this, we will be able to unravel the secret. We will go to court.â€
Also reacting, Action Congress governorship candidate, Kayode Fayemi described Saturdayâ€™s exercise as a charade.
Fayemi, who spoke through his Director of Communication, Mr Yemi Adaramodu declared that Saturdayâ€™s Senatorial elections can never be described as an election but a â€œcharade.â€
He alleged that â€œall over the Senatorial district, PDP thugs beat, maimed and disallowed voters from going out. They even harassed and even assaulted Action Congress leaders including the former governor of Ekiti State, Otunba Niyi Adebayo.â€
â€œIn Oye Ekiti,â€ he alleged further that â€œit was a free and fair rigging, in Ifaki Ekiti, the hometown of Engineer Segun Oni, it was for only PDP hoodlums who chased away voters. They even disallowed the AC candidate, Mr Olu Adetunmbi from casting his vote, it was so bad.â€
While lampooning INEC for shortage of election materials during the polls, he said â€œINEC did its own by not supplying voters register to areas that they know that AC had the upper hand. INEC even confessed that most ballot papers were not serialized and they want people to go for an election.â€
â€œIn Ikole town, names of voters were not even on the voterâ€™s register at all and these are names of AC supporters. INEC had already removed all these names from the register and that was why INEC refused to display the voters register before the election; and these are things that are contained in the Electoral Act and INEC manual. When INEC is going against its own rules and regulations, you can understand what will happen to the exercise that is called election,â€ he stated.