The stage is set to conclude Osun State governorship election declared inconclusive by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Sunday.
Today, Thursday, September 22, all 48 political parties vying for the post will go to the poll; but the real battle is between the PDP and the APC.
In the inconclusive election held Saturday, Ademola Adeleke of the PDP scored 254,698 votes to beat his APC rival, Gboyega Oyetola, who polled 254,345 votes. The PDP thus holds a narrow lead of 353 votes over the APC.
The electoral commission however declared the election inconclusive because the margin between the two leading parties, PDP and APC, is less than the number of cancelled votes (3,498) in seven polling units where results was cancelled across four local governments.
The Returning Officer, Joseph Fuwape, who is the Vice Chancellor of the Federal University of Technology, Akure, while declaring the final results, said he could not “fairly” return Ademola Adeleke as the winner because of the provisions of the law regarding cancelled votes.
Subsequently, INEC picked Thursday to hold the rerun in the following polling units:
– Ife North, Ward 10, PU2
– Ife South, Olode Ward 07, PU12, Adereti Village
– Ife South Osi Ward 8 PU10, Aluti Erin Primary School, Albert village
– Orolu Ward 08 PU001, Kajola village
– Orolu Ward 08 PU004 Idi Iya village
– Orolu Ward 09 PU 003 Gbogbo Primary School Adeleke
– Osogbo Ataoja Ward 05 PU 017 Adewale Street.
Already, politicking has been intense for the 3,498 possible votes from these polling units. In the past days, both APC and PDP have claimed Iyiola Omisore, a strong Ife politician who came third in the initial election, has agreed to work with them. Mr Omisore and his party, SDP, however cleared the air yesterday when they declared support for APC.
The game has also been hot in some of these polling units. In Osogbo on Tuesday, three people, including a 12-year-old girl, were shot at Alekuwodo area of Osogbo.
As expected, the battle will be keen.
PREMIUM TIMES will bring you live updates of happenings from the seven polling units and the final collation centre.
7:15am Orolu LGA:
As it stands, there is apprehension in Ifon, Orolu LGA as residents gather in tens and hundreds discussing.
It was alleged that about twelve vehicles carrying thugs working for one of the parties drove ahead.
Observers, residents and other interested parties are waiting for security reinforcement to proceed to polling units.
7.52am Restiveness at PU 17, Ward 5 Osogbo over presence of Unit 03 PVC held by a potential voter. Some agents protest and police order the holder to vacate the area. Calm returns. The queue is long.
7.45am- All is set in Oshogbo. At PU 17 Ward 5 in Oshogbo, electoral officers have already set up the polling centres. They waiting to commence the voting process by 8 am, the official time.
7.52am – There is confusion at the same ward in Osogbo as a voter is seen with a PVC of another polling unit.
Some party agents protest. The police order the holder to vacate the area. Calm returns. The queue is long.
8:09am Oshogbo LGA: Aged people given preference at PU 17, ward 5 but voting cubicle is not secluded to ensure voter secrecy as INEC promised.
8:30 am Ife South LGA: At Olode Ward 7, PU 12, voting is in progress. There is presence of heavily armed security operatives. The security personnel comprise men of the Nigerian Police Force, FRSC, NSCDC, DSS.
8:42am: Signs of vote buying in Ife-South LGA.
At Olode Ward 07, PU12, Mr Adereti, an INEC officer denied an observer movement around the polling unit where vote-buying is suspectedly going on.
8: 58 am: Orolu LGA – Security operatives restrict an election observer from getting to a polling unit in the LGA.
9:05 am Osogbo LGA – A woman, Romoke Lukman, 50, caught as she tried to vote with PVC of another unit at PU 17, Ward 5. She said she was called by someone to come and vote. This is the second person caught trying to vote in the unit with PVCs from other units. She was questioned by security operatives who let her go after she apologised profusely.