The candidate of the Social Democratic Party in Saturday’s governorship election in Osun State, Iyiola Omisore, has given conditions upon which he will support another party in the scheduled rerun election.
Mr Omisore, who stands no chance of being declared winner of the election, said he would only support a party for Thursday’s supplementary election if such party will be willing to implement his election manifesto.
He gave the condition as the two leading political parties in the election, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC), made efforts to reach a deal with him for the rerun.
Mr Omisore, who hails from Ife central local government, polled 128,049 votes to occupy the third place behind the APC candidate, Gboyega Oyetola.
Ademola Adeleke of the PDP scored the highest with 254,698 votes ahead of Mr Oyetola, who polled 254,345 votes.
The difference in the number of votes scored between the leading candidates is 353, a figure lower than the number of votes cancelled in seven polling units due to irregularities which totaled 3,498. This made the electoral commission, INEC, fix a supplementary election.
The supplementary election was called after INEC declared the election inconclusive on Sunday.
Although INEC stated that all the political parties would be contesting the rerun, only two parties, the PDP and the APC, have the chance to win the election.
Of the seven units where he rerun election will hold, one is in Ife North local government, where Mr Omisore came second behind the APC, two are in Ife South, three units are in Orolu, while one is in Osogbo.
It is believed that since Mr Omisore is a prince in Garage Olode, the town in Ife South where election will be held in two units, with a combined voting strength of 1,315 registered voters, his influence could give victory to whoever he supports on Thursday.
A PDP delegation to Osun, led by the President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, visited Mr Omisore at his country home in Ile-Ife on Monday to seek his support for the election.
It was gathered that a delegation from the APC had done the same earlier.
However, Mr Omisore after the meetings said his support would only go to the party that would implement his programmes and that of the SDP.
“I have given my programmes to both APC and PDP. My programme is like this; payment of salaries and pensions. Good governance is what is important to me,” Mr Omisore told journalists after the meeting.
“Anyone between the two that will do that will get my support. I am passionate about Osun and my interest is the welfare of the people of this state. I have told those sent to me. At the appropriate time, we will tell you where we are going.”
Mr Saraki also spoke to reporters after the meeting, saying the PDP has agreed in principle with Mr Omisore’s conditions to get his support for the rerun election.
He expressed optimism that the outing on Thursday would be in favour of the PDP.
“We had a fruitful discussion with Senator Omisore. He used to be with us. And we believe he is helping us now. I am optimistic of a good outing for PDP,” said the President of the Senate who also expressed his stance on Twitter.
“After meeting with him, I am more optimistic now that with his support, PDP will win. We are confident of a good outing. I am more confident now.
“I was hard on INEC because it declared Osun poll inconclusive after doing a good job. The issue of vote buying was at the front burner but that was reduced to the barest minimum as against what we witnessed during Ekiti poll.
“At the end of the day, the poll was again declared inclusive. That took away all commendations that should have gone the way of INEC.
“I thank Senator Iyiola Omisore for the warm reception he and his people gave me and members of my entourage in Ile Ife today.
“We have agreed to work together because our goals are the same. We all want good governance in Osun State. Over the next 24 hours, we will work out the details.
“Our discussion will definitely be useful for the growth of democracy in our country; the development of Osun State and its people; as well as for future engagements among political players.
“From now on, it will be a win-win situation for the State of the Land of Virtue, Osun, and Nigeria, in general.”