The candidate of the Peoples’ Democratic Party, PDP, at the just concluded Osun State gubernatorial election, Iyiola Omisore, has attributed his defeat to the “clearly partisan” acts of the former Resident Electoral Commissioner, REC, in the state.
At his first post-election briefing in Osogbo, Monday, Mr. Omisore said that by the time the electoral commissioner was removed, he had already done the damage.
Rufus Akeju, the Osun State REC, was replaced by ,Mr Segun Agbaje, a few weeks before the election.
At the end of the election, Mr. Omisore’s 292,747 votes was not enough to defeat Rauf Aregbesola, the incumbent governor and candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, who polled 394,684 votes to emerge winner.
“It was not a race we came into unmindful of the odds stacked against us,” said Mr. Omisore, a former Senator.
“For instance, 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 already did a lot of harm in the system that would take years to rectify. In spite of this and the fact that all democratic structures in the state are in the hands of our opponent, our supporters still fought gallantly in every poling unit in the state to achieve the feat we posted in this election,” Mr. Omisore added.
The PDP candidate urged his supporters to remain calm as the party is still studying the election results to determine their next line of action.
“In the meantime, our situation office and party are presently analyzing the results of the elections against field reports. We shall be making public our findings and the appropriate steps accordingly,” said Mr. Omisore.
“I however appeal to all our supporters to remain calm, law-abiding and peace-loving. Our abiding guide is that Osun state must not be governed in the old ways anymore and August 9 has given the demography of the change-seeking people.”
Mr. Omisore said that his campaign strategy took him to the nook and cranny of the state where he saw the impact of “propaganda-led governance” on the people’s lives.
“We shared the daily experiences of a people traumatized and fervently hopeful of beneficial change that democracy has promised to them,” Mr. Omisore said.
“It did not escape our notice that many of the everyday people in our towns and villages who trooped to meet with us, valued our presence and the regard we had for them, yet they bore with courage and hope, the scars of neglect, extreme poverty, and excruciating suffering.
“We were bold to reject financial recklessness, deform of our education sector, scams that deployed technology for profit rather than for learning, bastardized empowerment programs that only deny opportunities to our young people, partnership that mean our artisans are jobless, significant capital flight from the Osun state economy and the lack of transparency in public procurement process.
“We have been successful in raising the consciousness of every one in Osun state to these issues, enabling them to demand accountability that will enshrine good governance today and forever.”
Mr. Omisore also said that the result of the election showed that the PDP is no longer a push over in the South West.
“The best man does not always win, but a winner emerges. We congratulate all the gladiators in this effort; everyone gave of their best,” he said.
“Collectively, we have achieved much more than our individual aspirations for the Office of the Governor of Osun state that we all contested for. Our achievements go beyond Government House in Abere, to the heart of the people and our followers. We in Osun PDP assert with great confidence that the business of governance in Osun state will be not be as usual again. The positive change we fought for in the Rescue Mission campaign has indeed started. We are all wiser.
“This is success we are thankful for. We must celebrate PDP leadership, its members and the extensive engagement of supporters of the Iyiola Omisore Organization (IOO) on all platforms, including the Omisore Youth Support Forum (OYSF) and the engagement of all media – print, digital and social. Everyone was awesome.
“We collectively with the citizens and people of Osun state will sustain the Rescue Mission from a campaign to what I note it has become, a socio-political movement for positive change in Osun state, a force for change that no one can deny or stop. We came into this race to make that difference in their lives and offer hope in the land,” he added.