Incumbent Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State is in the lead in Saturday’s governorship poll, initial poll analysis has shown.
Collation of results of the keenly-contested election is continuing, and a final winner is to be announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, early Sunday.
But results tallied from the Local Government Areas by PREMIUM TIMES reporters, other media establishments, observers and some residents of the state put Mr. Aregbesola of the All Progressives Congress, APC, ahead of his challengers.
An unofficial result put together by supporters of the APC is also currently being beamed to residents of the state on a large screen at the Oke-fia area of the state capital, Osogbo.
The election is mainly between the APC and the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, represented by Iyiola Omisore.
According to results so far unofficially tallied, Mr. Omisore is leading in eight Local Government Areas, LGAs, of the state while Mr. Aregbesola is ahead in 22 LGAs.
The results are not final, as only INEC has the power to announce results of elections in Nigeria.
The preliminary tally shows that Mr. Aregbesola has taken leads in Ayedade, Ifelodun, Ede North, Ola Oluwa, Irepodun, Ila Orangun, Ede South, Atakumosa West, Oriade, Orolu, Boripe and Ilesa West.
The APC candidate is also prevailing at Ilesa East, Ifedayo, Irewole, Obokun, Egbedore, Iwo, Osogbo, Olorunda, Atakumosa East and Ejigbo.
Mr. Omisore on his part took the lead in Isokan, Ife North, Ife East, Ife Central, Odo Otin, Boluwaduro, Ayedire and Ife South.
Details analysed by PREMIUM TIMES from the polling units also put Mr. Aregbesola ahead of the other candidates which also include Fatai Akinbade of the Labour Party, LP.
The election yielded a mix of surprising results with several leaders of the two main parties losing in their strongholds.
Former Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola of the APC lost in his ward as the PDP scored 125 against the APC’s 61.
Former Minister of State for Defence, Olusola Obada, also lost her Ibodi, Atakunmosa West Local Government polling unit where PDP scored three votes while the APC scored 300 votes. Ms. Obada is a member of the PDP.
Adejare Bello, who is Mr. Omisore’s running mate, also lost in his ward as the PDP scored 30 while the APC scored 130.
The election which was preceded by massive security clampdown and allegations of arrests of several political leaders, was however conducted under a peaceful atmosphere.
Election materials arrived polling units on time while voting started as scheduled in many local governments.
In earlier remarks, a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party, [PDP], Femi Fani-Kayode, said in the party’s calculation, its party, Mr. Omisore was in the lead.
Speaking to PREMIUM TIMES late Saturday, Mr. Fani-Kayode said the tallying of the votes was still going on and that it was therefore too early to award victory to any of the candidates.
“As far as we are concerned, by our own collation, we are ahead,” the former minister said. “We defeated them (APC) heavily in our strongholds and in their strongholds, the race has been very close.
“All these claims that they have won is not true. It is disinformation and we advise that people wait for INEC to announce the authentic result. I can tell you that it is not over.”
But the emerging results have already drawn congratulatory messages.
Senior lawyer, Femi Falana, praised Mr. Aregbesola for his “well-deserved victory”.
Mr. Falana condemned the massive security clampdown on the state and described the move as a “declaration of war” on the state by President Goodluck Jonathan.
“More disturbing was the deployment of snippets who were permitted to wear masks. The criminal elements engaged in shooting sporadically into the air to intimidate the people of Osun State,” he said.
“An election that is fully militarized cannot be said to be fair and free. An election in which people were arrested and detained and disenfranchised cannot be said to be credible.”