Osogbo erupts in celebration as Aregbesola wins governorship poll

Rauf Aregbesola, Governor of Osun State

The victory celebration that began Saturday night in Osogbo continued on Sunday with residents dancing and waving brooms as they marched round the Osun State capital.

At about 6 am, Sunday, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, announced Rauf Aregbesola, the incumbent governor, as the winner of the August 9 gubernatorial election.

Mr. Aregbesola, candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, polled 394,684 votes to emerge winner, beating his strongest challenger and candidate of the Peoples’ Democratic Party, PDP, who got 292,747.

Fatai Akinbade, a former Secretary to the State Government and the Labour Party, came a distant third with 8,898 votes.

“Having satisfied the requirements of the law and scoring the highest numbers of votes, Rauf Aregbesola of the All Progressives Congress is therefore returned elected,” said Bamitade Omole, INEC’s Chief Returning Officer.

The final announcement by Mr. Omole, the Vice Chancellor of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, sent party supporters and some journalists at the INEC collation centre into wild jubilation.

Within hours, the jubilation spread across the capital and other parts of the state.

On Sunday morning, a crowd, trailed by security agents, waved brooms, chanting victory songs as they marched through Oke-Fia, in the state capital, towards Okinni.

At Gbongan road, a convoy of motorcyclists and chartered commercial buses with people waved brooms as they made their way towards Osogbo.

“This is a victory for all Osun people. We are very happy that our voice has been heard,” said Kehinde Olawole, a resident in Osogbo.

Mr. Aregbesola emerged victorious in 22 out of the 30 local governments in the state, including in Osogbo where he beat Mr. Omisore by almost 30,000 votes.

The PDP candidate, who won in eight local governments, got his highest votes in his Ife Central home where he almost tripled the APC’s 9,680 votes.

Generally, the election went without any hitch as INEC officials arrived early at most polling units across the state for accreditation.

Prospective voters also defied Saturday morning’s light showers, arming themselves with umbrellas, as they thronged their various voting centres.

“The election was very peaceful as there was no case of violence,” said Mr. Olawole, who voted in Osogbo.

“We prayed for everything to work out well and to God be the glory, it had,” he added.

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