APC Leads In Osun Polls
• Politicians Disagree On Election Process
• It's Coup Against Democracy, Says Lai Mohammed
• INEC Has Done Well — PDP Scribe
Just as the National Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Prof Wale Oladapo, expressed satisfaction at the turn out of voters at the Osun governorship election Saturday, the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), which as at the time of filing this report was leading in the poll, described the process as 'state-sponsored terror' and coup against democracy.
Unconfirmed results of the election had put the APC in early lead, having defeated the PDP in many of the local councils. However, there was wild jubilation among the kinsmen of the PDP candidate, Senator Iyiola Omisore, as he won election in most of the poll units in the ancient town of Ile-Ife.
But, as at the time of filling this report, Osogbo, the capital city of Osun, was agog, as members, supporters, and sympathisers of the APC and its candidate, incumbent Governor Rauf Aregbesola, poured into the streets in jubilation.
This was on account of reports that the party had swept the town, and majority of the local government councils where the poll results were already in the public domain.
Indeed, unconfirmed report but widely circulated in the state showed the APC have secured majority votes in 24 local governments.
Osogbo and the two of the four local government councils of Ife have the highest number of registered voters in the state. Osogbo has 110,670 voters, Ife Central 95,471, and Ife East 81,430.
Thus, the most contested councils were these three with the highest registration figures, in addition to Olorunda (71,580), Iwo (66,657) and Ifelodun, 57,591 registered voters.
The political bases or council areas of the governorship contestants and leaders of the parties were also points of focus.
Hence, all eyes were on Ilesa, where Governor Aregbesola comes from; Ile-Ife where Senator Omisore hails from; Ila-Oragun, home place of former governor and APC Interim National Chairman, Chief Bisi Akande; Ede, country home of former governor, Senator Isiaka Adeleke; and Okuku in Odo-Otin council, the birthplace of former Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola, who only defected from the PDP to the APC on Wednesday.
The jubilation in Osogbo, which started as early as 3.30pm when reports came in from some units in the metropolis and Olorunda local government areas indicating the APC was in the lead, heightened when counting of the ballots began in Owode Lane, Ward 6, the voting area of the state Deputy Governor, Mrs. Olaoye Tomori.
From the first ballot box of Unit 1, the APC scored 230 votes while the PDP had 46. The second box produced 214 for the APC and 54 for the PDP.
Then in Unit 3, the APC secured 303 votes, while the PDP got 59 votes. It was from here that the celebrations took off in earnest, led by the deputy governor.
Some other results in Osogbo are as follows: Ward 2, Unit 6: APC 205, PDP 72; Ward 4, Unit 5: APC 217, PDP 91; Ward 4, Unit 4: APC 286, PDP 135; Ward 4, Unit 19: APC 319, PDP 101; Ward 4, Unit 18: APC 339, PDP 118; Ward 4, Unit 20: APC 289, PDP 106; Ward 2, Unit 8: APC 63, PDP 15; Ward 1, Unit 1: APC 49; PDP 18.
From the Aiyedire local government areas, Oluponna Ward 2, Unit 1: APC 290, PDP 290; Unit 2: APC 193, PDP 299; Unit 3: APC 188, PDP 302; Unit 4: APC 84, PDP 72.
Irewole local government area, Ward 9, Unit 7: APC 174,
PDP 121; Ward 9, Unit 8: APC 109, PDP 57; Ikire Unit 3: APC 140, PDP 105; APC 143, PDP 94.
At Moore Ward 1, Unit 3, located inside St. Gabriel Primary School, Moore, Ile-Ife, where Senator Omisore cast his vote, he polled 349 votes while the APC had 96 votes.
In Unit 4, PDP scored 407, APC 103. Labour party had one vote.
At Enuwa Square, in front of the palace of the Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuade, where the national scribe of the PDP, Prof. Wale Oladapo cast his vote, PDP scored 384 and APC 37 votes.
In Ife East local council, Ward 3, Unit 4, PDP scored 106, APC 9 votes.
The Labour Party (LP) was showing some promises, as it clinched 157 votes of Ward 5, Unit 3; the APC scored 134 votes and the PDP 60 votes. And in Ward 4, Unit 4: LP 76, APC 46, PDP 64 votes.
Oladapo, who spoke at Enuwa square palace frontage, where he cast his votes, commended the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for commencing the exercise by 8 am.
Raising the alarm over what it described as 'mass arrest and intimidation' of its members in Osun yesterday, the APC, in a statement issued in Osogbo by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said over 250 of its members 'have been arrested so far. But Military Spokesman, Chris Olukolade, told The Guardian, last night, that 'the arrests were carried out by joint task force comprising the Army and other security. Those arrested were those whose activities were inimical to the electoral process. The arrests were not targeted at any group; it was to ensure the sanctity of the electoral process.'
Lai Mohammed argued: ''At this point, APC is constrained to alert Nigerians and the international community that what is going on now in Osun State Nigeria is not an election but a coup against democracy,'' the party said in a statement.
''This is definitely not an ordinary election. It is the total hijack of the process and direct violation of the rights of the people. Osun State has been turned into a theatre of war. An ongoing state-sponsored political terror against the Osun people and the entire people of Nigerians has been unleashed by an elected President against his own people, against his own country, in an unprecedented act of political desperation.
The party said, even as the election progresses, police officers from other neighboring states are being shipped into Osun to intimidate the state's voters.
''PDP is not relenting in its plan to unleash terror and provoke violence after the accreditation of voters in order to prevent APC members from voting. Tear gas and gun shots will be released sporadically to scare voters from voting and create confusion at the poling units, so the agents of the PDP can substitute ballot papers and boxes,'' APC said.
The party also alerted the people of Osun and indeed all Nigerians to the use of fake Youth Corpers to perpetrate massive rigging in the election, adding that the fake Youth Corpers, who were procured by the Minister of State for Defence Musiliu Obanikoro, have hijacked the accreditation of voters in many polling units.
Commenting on APC's allegations, Oladipo, the PDP scribe, nevertheless, noted that some of its leaders were arrested and humiliated.
'I would not want to wrestle with the pig in the mud, the campaign is over, APC is known for many frivolous allegations, he said.
'Let the Angels come and conduct election, once APC did not win, that election is rigged. All these allegations show they are already preparing for defeat. We are in front of the palace of Ooni of Ife now, Oba Okunade Sijuade, this is the centre of Yoruba Kingdom and you can see agents
of almost all the political parties here and everything is going on peacefully.' The Guardian