By Gbenga Olarinoye, Victor Ahiuma-Young, Ola Ajayi, Ebun Sessou & Chinenyeh Ozor
Barely 48 hours after the Osun State 2014 governorship election won by Governor Rauf Aregbesola of the All Progressives Congress, APC, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and its candidate, Senator Iyiola Omisore have expressed dissatisfaction with the outcome of the exercise and vowed to challenge the result at the Governorship Election Petition Tribunal.
Omisore said the outcome of the election did not reflect the wishes of the people of the state, hence his resolve to challenge it at the tribunal.
The state chairman of the party, Alhaji Ganiyu Olaoluwa, in a statement in Osogbo, yesterday, said the PDP would challenge the results released by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
He said the party had met and resolved that the results of the election be challenged at the tribunal, adding that the legal team of the party under the leadership of Chief Sunday Ojo-Williams met on the development and was already consulting with those that matter.
He described the Saturday’s election as “a robbery of the highest order,” Olaoluwa said the election was characterised by malpractices in many parts of the state, especially Osogbo and Ilesa.
“The PDP in Osun State reject the outcome of the last Saturday’s election in its totality and we are ready to contest it until the peoples mandate, which was stolen is returned,” Olaoluwa stressed.
Omisore, in a statement assured that the wishes of the people of the state would finally come alive as he would challenge the election results.
He said: “I have resolved to continue to provide leadership until Osun State of our dream is realised. Let it be known that our people would no longer be taken for granted as we have opened the floodgate of democratic challenge, which no force on earth can stop.
“I shall be at the forefront as our people keep pressing for the real dividends of democracy and the expansion of the democratic space in our dear state. In the meantime, the party situation office is presently analysing the results of the elections against field reports and we shall be making public our findings and the appropriate steps accordingly.”
According to Omisore, “this is one election that has been hardly fought in every nook and cranny of our state in the last few months. We traversed the length and breadth of Osun with our eight-point agenda to give a new paradigm for governance and lift our people out of the abyss of want and decadence.
“In the course of our campaigns, I saw a people traumatised and fervently hopeful of beneficial change. It did not escape my notice that many of the people in our towns and villages who trooped to campaign grounds bore scars of neglect, extreme poverty and excruciating suffering.
“It was a race we came into mindful of the odds stacked against us. We had a situation where a clearly partisan Resident Electoral Commissioner had opened the entire electoral system to our opponent from registration stage through data storage to personnel loading. Though the leadership of INEC eventually took him out of the state weeks to the elections, he had already did a lot of harm in the system that would take years to rectify.”
This came as more groups and individuals commended aregbesola on his victory.
Among those who spoke yesterday were the Nigerian Labour Congress, NLC, Inter-Party Advisory Council, IPAC, Conference of Nigerian Political Parties, CNPP, former governor of Oyo State, Senator Rashidi Ladoja, Lagos State House of Assembly Speaker, Hon Adeyemi Ikuforiji among others.
National Publicity Secretary of IPAC and National Chairman of the Citizens Popular Party, CPP, Chief Sam Eke saluted Aregbesola on his ‘well-deserved victory,’ which he said “is total demonstration of Aregbesola’s over 80 per cent performance, tolerance of all men of different religion and tribes living in the state of Osun, recognition of the people’s power, primacy and his intimacy with all men, women, youth and physically challenged people and finally the ugly lesson APC as a party learnt in Ekiti State.”
Omisore’s controversial personality cost him the polls – Ladoja
Senator Ladoja said the non-acceptability of Omisore’s personality led to the loss of the PDP at the Ogun polls.
Speaking at the installation of Nureni Adeniran as the third President of Rotary Club of Ibadan, Jericho-Metro District 9125, Ladoja said Omisore’s controversial personality made it difficult to get the support of the people of the state who needed a change.
NLC tasks Aregbesola on workers-friendly policies
Also reacting, the NLC implored Aregbesola to use his second term in office to pursue a more workers-friendly policies, saying “majority of the votes that returned him to power came from workers.”
This came as it called on relevant authorities to investigate alleged rights violations, arrests of some people, including accredited observers and journalists during the election.
While congratulating him on his victory in Saturday’ gubernatorial election, NLC in a statement in Abuja, insisted that Governor Aregbesola should review all outstanding issues relating to workers’ welfare and ensure that his second term would be strike-free.
NLC in the statement by its President, Mr. Abdulwaheed Omar, contended that Aregbesola reelection reaffirmed “our conviction that democracy is maturing very fast in the country since it has become obvious that the people’s votes now count in elections. It is mainly to the credit of the integrity of the Prof. Attahiru Jega-led Independent National Electoral Commission, the electorate themselves and the candidates that any election such as this would come out not only successful but credible. This is an indication that our country is hopeful. It is important however, that our politicians should begin to understand that “do or die” politics is not part of democracy.”
CNPP congratulates Aregbesola, INEC
On its part, the CNPP congratulated Aregbesola, INEC, security agencies, Ogun people and President Goodluck Jonathan for conducting another free and fair election.
In a statement issued by its Secretary General, Chief Willy Ezugwu, CNPP said the election, which has been adjudged free and fair by everyone, including the civil societies who monitored it is another pointer that INEC is battle-ready to conduct credible election in 2015.
”CNPP is satisfied with the conduct of the Ogun guber election and thanked INEC for their impartiality in the poll’, he said.
He also urged Aregbesola to be a good sportsman by carrying his opponents who lost in the election along for the good of the state while also congratulating the people of Ogun state for conducting themselves peaceful during the election.
Don’t over-heat the polity, Ikuforji, Pitan advise PDP
Relatedly, Ikuforiji advised the PDP against overheating the polity on account of the Ogun polls. In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Rotimi Adebayo, the speaker said Aregbesola’s victory was as a result of his outstanding performance and unwavering determination displayed by the people of Ogun.
Ikuforiji advised that, the federal government should avoid over- deployment of soldiers and masked- security men for the purposes of monitoring, intimidating and unlawfully arresting members of major opposition political parties in the overall interest of democracy. Also speaking, Dr. Leke Pitan also commended the Ogun governor, for his unrelenting and outstanding performance and service to humanity.