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Street urchins, political thugs threaten Osun rerun

By Gbenga Olarinoye
Osogbo – Following the breakdown of law and order at one of the polling units, Ward 5 unit 17, Alekuwodo, Osogbo where the re-run election is taking place, armed personnel including the army were drafted to the area to put the situation under control.

A picture taken on September 22, 2018 shows an electoral officer raising a ballot to count results in a ward after the Osun State gubernatorial election in Ede, near Osogbo, Osun State in southwest Nigeria.
The Osun election is seen as a litmus test for the president’s popularity as he seeks a second term in February. / AFP PHOTO /

Vanguard gathered at about 12 noon while the voting exercise is still going on some street urchins and political thugs took over the area causing problems for the people in the affected area.

The timely intervention of the security personnel drafted to the area who shot into the air sporadically scared away the hoodlums causing problem in the area.

As at the time of filling this report, the Alekuwodo area of Osogbo and all the adjoining streets in the area are charged as residents scampered for safety while shops were hurriedly closed.

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Also, at Biket area, Osogbo where the PDP secretariat is located hundreds of people mostly youth confronted the security operatives.

The situation however led to open confrontation between the two groups disrupting the free flow of human and traffic for several minutes before it was brought under control.

Meanwhile, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), agent was noticeably missing as rerun election is held in Adereti Village, Ward 7, Unit 12, Garage Oldie, Ife South.

Unit 12 is one of the 7 units where rerun poll was ordered by Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for Osun governorship poll held on Saturday, September 22.

An INEC official, Ven. Stephen Oyewande, who is deputy director, Voters Education, when asked why PDP was missing, said: “call the state chairman of the party why his party agent is not here.I can’t explain why he is not here.”

However, Lateef Abimbola of All Progressives Congress (APC), Olaiya Yemi of All Peoples Alliance, (APA), Rasheed Mojeed of Advance Congress of Democrat, (ADC), Adeyemo Gafar of Action Democratic Party, (ADP) and Bayo Shittu of Social Democratic Party (SDP), were present at the polling centre.

Security around the polling unit was water-tight, even as Ife/Ondo road was partially blocked to traffic.

Though they were later allowed to move, many commuters, especially those moving towards Ondo end of Ife/Ondo road, were stranded for some hours owing to road block mounted by the soldiers on election duty.

Speaking to newsmen, Supervisory Presiding Officer, Femi Kuku, said the excercise was going on well without hitch.

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