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Intrigues, twists, turns as Adeleke’s supporters await Nov 27 swearing in

The just-concluded governorship election in Osun State was adjudged credible and acceptable by critical stakeholders, including politicians in both the ruling and opposition political parties. …

The just-concluded governorship election in Osun State was adjudged credible and acceptable by critical stakeholders, including politicians in both the ruling and opposition political parties. 

Also, election monitors and civil societies organisations who observed the process lauded the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for its neutrality and innovations introduced to prevent rigging and other forms of electoral fraud. 

The election was conducted as scheduled and the result was declared within 24 hours. INEC announced the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)’s Senator Nurudeen Jackson Ademola Adeleke as the winner.

Adeleke polled 403,371 votes to defeat his closest rival and incumbent governor, Mr Isiaka Adegboyega Oyetola who got 375,027. 

For this election, 1,952,387 registered and collected their Permanent Voter Cards but only 827,218 were accredited and voted. The total valid votes were 804,450 while 18, 674 votes were voided. 

Observers said the result of the election reflected what transpired during the poll. The Executive Director of Centre for Transparency Advocacy (CTA) Mrs Faith Nwadishi, commended electorate in Osun State for trooping out en masse during the July 16 governorship election in the state. 

Presenting the CTA’s preliminary reports on the Osun election, Nwadishi said the turnout was okay and that the promptness of INEC officials and security operatives was laudable. She also lauded INEC for introducing BVAS and election results portal. 

Similarly, the Coalition of Civil Societies which monitored the governorship election, at a press conference in Osogbo, said the election was credible and urged all politicians in the state to accept the outcome. National Coordinator of Women and Youth Pathfinder Initiative, Comrade Fidelus Nweke, said the election was free, fair and acceptable. 

However, the incumbent governor has not accepted the outcome of the election and might be heading to court to challenge the result. 

It was gathered that a team of lawyers led by Mr Kunle Adegoke (SAN) are studying the results and are expected to recommend the way forward. 

Oyetola’s campaign billboards destroyed

While elated members of the PDP and supporters of the winner are already jubilating, the celebration, however, assumed an unhealthy,  dimension when they destroyed campaign billboards of Governor Oyetola.

Reacting to the unruly behaviour of the PDP supporters, Oyetola appealed to his supporters to remain calm and peaceful.  

In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Ismail Omipidan, Oyetola called on his supporters to remain calm, and the people of the state to go about their businesses without hindrance.

He said, “Osun governor and candidate of the APC, Adegboyega Oyetola, has taken cognisance of the results of the governorship election in the state as announced by the Independent National Electoral Comm INEC.

“He, however, noted that the party would be responding appropriately after studying the results and consulting with critical stakeholders of the party. 

“The governor also called on security operatives to ensure maintenance of law and order. He, has therefore, directed security operatives to take adequate charge so as to prevent break down of law and order.”

Also reacting to the unruly behaviour of those celebrating his victory, in a statement by his spokesperson, Malam Olawale Rasheed, the governor-elect condemned the reported violent conduct of some youths and dissociated himself and his political organisation from the act. He warned them to desist from such act. 

The statement read, “It has come to the attention of the governor-elect that some youths are engaging in violent celebrations, leading to isolated attacks on vehicles and even individuals. This is an unacceptable conduct and those involved in such behaviour are warned to stop forthwith.

“While commiserating with any victim of such incident, the Adeleke Campaign Organisation is hereby informing the general public that it did not authorise any such demonstration and those involved are definitely not part of the Adeleke Campaign Organisation.”

INEC presents certificate of return to Adeleke

Meanwhile, INEC on Wednesday presented certificate of return to Adeleke and his Deputy, Prince Kola Adewusi, at the INEC headquarters in Osogbo. 

INEC National Commissioner, Professor Kunle Ajayi and the Resident Electoral Commissioner in the state, Professor Abdulganiy Raji made the presentation. 

Professor Kunle Ajayi in his remarks said the commission remains committed to ensuring credible and acceptable elections in Nigeria. 

The governor-elect in his acceptance speech assured that he would fulfill his campaign promises to the people of Osun State. Adeleke said his victory could not have been possible but for the courage of the good people of Osun State. 

He said, “This victory would not have been possible but for the goodwill of the patriotic men, young and old who worked hard to make sure we reclaim our stolen mandate. 

“I am overwhelmed by your love and support and I do not take this trust you have bestowed on me for granted.

“Our state has turned to a new page and we can now look forward to a bright future and a path for progress and prosperity for our people. Furthermore, I will like to specially recognise and appreciate my PDP family for their support.

“I dedicate my victory to my late brother, the first executive governor of the state, Isiaka Adeleke and every indigene of Osun State and to all my supporters, friends and family.”

Dark clouds over Nov. 27 swearing-in

While PDP members are eagerly awaiting the November 27 swearing-in of the governor-elect, many are apprehensive that Adeleke might not be sworn in as governor of the state. 

Recall that one of the aggrieved aspirants who contested the PDP primary against Adeleke, Prince Dotun Babayemi, had instituted a suit at the Federal High Court in Osogbo, claiming that he was the validly elected candidate of the PDP for the election.

Babayemi was pronounced the winner of the parallel primary election in Osogbo while Adeleke was announced as the candidate of the party at another primary election held at Osogbo City Stadium. 

Justice Emmanuel Ayoola in his ruling affirmed Adeleke as the true winner of the PDP governorship primary poll. 

Babayemi was not satisfied with the decision of the Federal High Court and proceeded to the Appeal Court, Akure. The appellate Court  dismissed Babayemi’s case and reaffirmed Adeleke are the authentic candidate of PDP. But Babayemi seemed not done on the matter.  

He said “We are evaluating all available options and shall act in the best interest of our people.” 

The PDP stalwart said, “Be rest assured that for the common good of our party and the people of the state, we shall take a decision about the best way forward, including a possible appeal at the Supreme Court which is the highest court of the land.”

Internal crisis cost Oyetola’s re-election  

Meanwhile, tongues continue to wag over the defeat suffered by the APC. Many have attributed it to the internal crisis in the Osun State chapter of the party. 

A former governor who is the Minister of Interior, Mr Rauf Aregbesola, and his successor were at loggerheads over the control of the party structure in the state. 

The manner which the state and local government congresses of the APC were held complicated the matter and some of Aregbesola’s supporters defected to the PDP. Many political observers believe that some of the supporters of the Interior Minister worked for the victory of Senator Adeleke. 

Meanwhile, as residents of Osun and other citizens await patiently for November 27 to see Adeleke being sworn in, many believe that the Osun governorship election was a signal to what the 2023 general election portends.