HomePoliticsOsun guber: Big upsets

Osun guber: Big upsets

From Oluseye Ojo, and Lateef Dada, Osogbo

The governorship poll in Osun State yesterday witnessed early arrival of election materials and officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to the majority of the polling units across the 30 local government areas of the state.

The development made voting exercise to commence in all the 3, 763 polling units, spread across 332 wards in the state by 8:30a.m, with the exception of a few wards, where cases of late arrival of election materials and INEC officials were reported, including Ward 11 in Irewole Local Government.

But the exercise began in Osogbo, Iragbiji, Ede, Ilesha, Ife, Iwo, Ile-Ogbo, Ikire, Ejigbo, Ikirun, Ode Omu, Okuku, Ila, Ilobu, Okinni, and many other places as early as 8:30a.m.

At Orisunbare Village, Polling Unit One, Ward Five, in Ede South Local Government Area, where voting exercise began exactly at 8:30a.m, more than 100 voters were at the polling units before the commencement of the exercise.

The electorate were made comfortable because tents and chairs were procured for them. In other places, the voters were on queues.

International observers from the United States of America, were also sighted at the polling unit. They are from the International Republican Institute and National Democratic Institute.

Large turnout of voters

Eligible voters across the the state trooped out en masse to exercise their franchise during the poll. There was no report of major violence during the exercise.

The election processes and procedures adopted by the INEC included voting by continuous accreditation and voting system.

The accreditation process in all the polling units comprised authentication and verification of voters with the use of the Bimodal Accreditation Voters Accreditation System (BVAS), checking of register of voters, inking of the cuticle of the thumb.

Accreditation and voting exercise commenced at 8:30a.m in all the polling units. The voting exercise stopped at 2:30p.m, but every voter already on queue were allowed to vote.

Vote-buying takes new methods

Vote-buying, like in the last month’s governorship poll in Ekiti State, also surfaced in Osun State, taking scientific methods, different from those noticed during a similar exercise in Ekiti.

Investigations by Sunday Sun revealed that the new scientific methods have been adopted by political parties to win votes, away from the prying eyes of the security agencies, especially the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC)

Though operatives of the anti-graft agency were seen in Iragbiji, the hometown of Governor Gboyega Oyetola, and Ede, the country home of the PDP candidate, Ademola Adeleke.

The new techniques were noticed in some polling units along Aregbe-Olaiya axis of the Ogo Oluwa-Abere Road of Osogbo, including a polling unit, very close to the new flyover constructed by the administration of Governor Oyetola at Olaiya area of Osogbo.

The new methods include assigning somebody to stay at a place close to the voting stand to monitor the voters. Once it is confirmed that a vote-seller has voted for a preferred party of the vote-buyers, he or she would be directed to a nearby place to write his or her name. Then, a tally would be given to the person. Thereafter, the tally would be used to collect money for doing the biddings of the vote-buyers.

The persons that have the cash with them would stay in a corner and some men assigned to loiter carefully around the place to prevent intruders. The name writers recruited for the purpose are mostly young ladies.

It was observed that the perpetrators of vote-buying and vote-selling were very discreet about it to the extent that without investigative instincts, it would look as if nothing of such was happening.

Though tallies were not seen in Ede, writing of names in an exercise book was seen very close to one of the polling units. But when they saw journalists approaching them, they dispersed and stood differently looking at the newsmen.

Early results and surprises

In the election results received so far at the time of filing this report, the PDP has sprung some surprises by winning many of the polling units in some areas that were the strongholds of APC in 2018. One of such areas is the state capital, Osogbo. Higher percentage of the results posted from various polling units in Osogbo Local Government, PDP won convincingly there.

At Ward 04, polling unit 14, in Osogbo Local Government, APC scored 84 votes and PDP got 124 votes. In Unit 035 of the same ward, APC got 07 votes, while PDP polled 13 votes.

Reports from Isokan Local Government, comprising Ikoyo, Orile-Owu, Apomu and Asejire, revealed that the PDP had the upper hand. In many of the polling units, the winning margins were very narrow, such as one or two, as well as 10 or 20 votes.

The fact that the two major contenders in the race – Governor Oyetola of APC and Senator Adeleke of PDP, won their polling units in Iragbiji and Ede, respectively, is not news to many people, as they said it would have been news if any of them had lost his unit.

Oyetola polled a total of 545 votes out of a total of 622 valid votes cast at Unit 2, Ward 1, LA Primary School, Popo, Iragbiji, Boripe Local Government. Adeleke came a distance second with 69 votes, while the governorship candidate of Action Democratic Party (ADP), Kehinde Atanda, scored 05 votes.

Adeleke also scored a total of 218 votes, to defeat Oyetola, who got 23 votes at Ward 02, polling unit 09, Sagba/Abogunde, in Ede North Local Government. In ward 05, unit 22 of the same local government, APC had 18 votes, while PDP got 41 votes. Also, in Ward 04, Unit 01, APC polled 162 votes and PDP has 348.

Former governor of Osun State and ex-Interim National Chairman of APC, Chief Bisi Akande, who voted at Ward 04, Polling Unit 12, Isedo I, Ila in Ila Local Government, also won his unit for his party. The ruling APC scored 140 votes, while PDP polled 117.

But the National Secretary of APC, Senator Iyiola Omisore, also won his Ward 01, polling unit 03, St Gabriel School, Ile-Ife, Ife East Local Government with a slight margin. PDP got 168 votes. Also, at St Gabriel School, unit 4, APC got 186, while PDP scored 162 votes.

The results from Ward 08, polling unit 01, Ifofin, Ilesa, Ilesa-East Local Government, of a former governor of the state, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, who is the current Minister of Interior, showed that APC won with 164 votes to defeat PDP that scored 134 votes. But Aregbesola did not show up for the election at the polling units. However, one of the voters in the area, who pleaded anonymity, said that “he usually comes to the town two days before elections.” His name and that of his family members appeared on the voter registration list, pasted at the polling unit.

But, some women, frying bean cake (Akara) in front of his house, declined to answer the question on the whereabouts of the minister. Meanwhile, one of his aides and brother, who was at a polling unit close to the minister’s house, allegedly worked for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

In the polling unit of the House of Assembly Speaker, Timothy Owoeye, APC won with 160 votes to defeat PDP that polled 59 votes.

Candidates speak

Governor Oyetola expressed confidence that he would be re-elected. The security agents, according to him, did well.

His words: “Seeing the enthusiasm that voters have displayed to cast their votes, I’m particularly very grateful to them and that shows that people are conscious of the need to participate in the process. Once the process is transparent enough, people will not be persuaded to vote, there will be no voter’s apathy. I’m confident that I will be re-elected by the grace of Almighty God.”

In the same vein, the PDP governorship candidate, Adeleke, commended INEC for doing a good job, saying that everything was calm.

When he was specifically asked to comment on the equipment deployed by INEC for the election, he said fantastic two times, adding that “I think INEC has improved and I give them kudos.”

The turnout of voters for the poll, according to him, was “very impressive. We want this election to be a point of contact for 2023. The whole world is watching us. It is going to be a test case for us.”

The governorship candidate of Accord (A), Dr Akin Ogunbiyi, also commended the process for being peaceful. He voted at Ward 05, unit 03, Methodist Primary School, Ile-Ogbo, in Ayedire Local Government.

The post Osun guber: Big upsets appeared first on VELOXNEWS.

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