#OsunDecides2018: Tempers flare as PDP protests local govt result

At 1:43pm ward 8 Unit 2, Sekona Ede South, mostly women are seen patiently waiting to cast their vote. The need to authenticate voters card and finger prints is delaying the voting process.
At 1:43pm ward 8 Unit 2, Sekona Ede South, mostly women are seen patiently waiting to cast their vote. The need to authenticate voters card and finger prints is delaying the voting process.

Tempers are boiling over in Osogbo, capital of Osun State, as party supporters and officials of the Peoples Democratic Party [PDP] are crying foul and accusing INEC of vote tampering on account of the declared results from Ayedaade Local Government Area.

The PDP’s protest came after the State INEC office declared 9,836 votes for the party in Ayedaade LGA, a result that party officials claimed was 1,000 votes lesser than what was previously announced by the LGA’s INEC collation officer.

The results declared and made available to agents, journalists and observers at the local government collation by the collation officer indicated that the PDP candidate, Ademola Adeleke, scored 10,836 votes in Ayedaade while the All Progressives Congress’ candidate, Gboyega Oyetola, scored 10,861 votes.

The PDP party agent at the state collation centre promptly protested the figures, and was asked to seek clarifications from the officials who supervised the LGA elections.

Officials later announced that they have reached understanding on the discrepancy with the PDP agent and that he had come to clarity on what was amiss.

“Every data matched, there was no case (of manipulation)”, according to the Ayedaade presiding officer.

Unimpressed by what appeared to be an understanding inside the state collation centre however, the PDP spokesperson, Kola Ologbondiyan, told PREMIUM TIMES Sunday morning that “This is a deliberate plot by the returning officer to slash our votes by 1,000 in order to reduce our edge by over 500 votes,”.

“This is totally unacceptable and we have appealed to INEC to immediately announced the original result right there. We will not allow them to rob us and now say we should go to tribunal.

“This is clear, clear robbery and we will not accept it,” Mr Ologbondiyan said. “We appeal to all Nigerians and international observers who have the interest of Nigeria’s democracy at heart to immediately call on INEC to retrace its steps right here and now.”

But a PREMIUM TIMES reporter who covered the election in Ayedaade said there were signs the result would be problematic.

“At the point of taking a shot of the result, a man very close to my partner claimed the result for PDP was nine thousand plus but the officials didn’t bother to correct it before they left,” Yusuf Akinpelu said.

He said the man who called attention to the error spent time dissuading people from relying, photographing and copying “the wrong result”.

The man, whose identity our reporter was unable to determine, was however ignored by officials and observers.

The controversy over the Ayedaade tally arose as results from Osogbo were being awaited.

Already, results from 29 of the total 30 local government areas of the state have been declared.

Osogbo is the big prize that will ultimately decide the elections. In the governorship elections of 2014, Osogbo has 53,000 valid votes cast, of which the APC won 75 per cent of those valid votes.

As votes tally shows, the governing party has so far won in 15 local governments, while the PDP has won in 11 local governments.

The ADP won in one local government (Iwo) while the SDP won in two local governments (Ife East and Ife Central).

Rasheed Olawale, a spokesperson for Mr Adeleke’s campaign said: “We raised the alarm in the dead of the night that they are changing results. This is a brazen stealing of peoples’s will and must be rejected.”

Oluwole Uzzi, a spokesperson for INEC, however, rejected allegations that the election results were tampered with to the detriment of PDP, which is an opposition party in both the state and at Nigeria’s centre.

“But, since the collation is still ongoing, there is no need for anyone to conclude that a permanent decision has been taken on the matter,” the official told PREMIUM TIMES by telephone Sunday morning. “Let us wait for the final declaration.”

Jamiu Olawunmi, a spokesperson for APC’s candidate, Gboyega Oyetola, also took a similar position when reached for comments.

“It is too premature to start talking about a collation that is still ongoing,” he said.

Oluwole Uzzi, a spokesperson for INEC, however, rejected allegations that the election results were tampered with to the detriment of PDP, which is an opposition party in both the state and at Nigeria’s centre.

“But, since the collation is still ongoing, there is no need for anyone to conclude that a permanent decision has been taken on the matter,” the official told PREMIUM TIMES by telephone Sunday morning. “Let us wait for the final declaration.”


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