Interior Minister, Rauf Aregbesola, has identified some shortcomings of the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship primary election in Osun State. The former Osun State governor said reports are being collected from members of his factions across the state.
The incumbent Governor of Osun state, Isiaka Adegboyega Oyetola, has been declared winner of the All Progressives Congress, APC, governorship primary election held on Saturday, 19th February, 2022.
This came despite open declarations by the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, that Oyetola wouldn’t clinch the party ticket for the July 16 governorship election in the state.
Declaring the result, the chairman of the primary election committee and Kwara State Governor AbdulRazaq AbdulRahman said Oyetola polled 222,169 votes to emerge winner.
He added that former Secretary to the State Government, Moshood Adeoti, polled 12,921 to finish in second place, while former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Lasun Yusuf, polled 460 votes.
He further added that the total registered voters for the exercise stood at 408,697, while those accredited for was 247,207. The Kwara governor also stated that the total of valid votes cast was 235,550.
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“I, AbdulRazaq AbdulRahman, Chairman of Osun Direct Primary committee, hereby certify that Isiaka Adegboyega Oyetola, having secured the highest number of votes in the election, is hereby declared winner”, he said.
Aregbesola, who has been campaigning for Adeoti, had prior to the election stated that Adeoti would defeat Oyetola and Yusuf, if the “primary is fair, free and credible.’
But at Aregbesola’s Ward 08, Ifofin in Ilesa East Local Council, Oyetola won with 309 votes while Adeoti got 146 votes.
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Meanwhile, Aregbesola was not in town.
At Yusuf’s Ward 05, Ilobu, in Irepodun Local Council, Oyetola got 323 votes to defeat Yusuf, who only got 10 votes. Adeoti garnered 62.
Neither Adeoti nor Yusuf got any vote at Oyetola’s ward with the returning officer announcing that out of the 2,053 accredited voters, Oyetola got 1,612. Adeoti and Yusuf did not present agents in the ward.
Governor AbdulRazaq, who led a seven-man committee for the primary, had promised a free, fair and credible exercise. AbdulRazaq said the primary was peaceful, as against speculation of violence before the poll.
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Meanwhile, there was heavy presence of security personnel around Osogbo and other major towns. Nigeria Police officers and other security personnel were positioned in strategic locations to maintain law and order during and after the primary.
After a careful study of the reports, the minister, Ogbeni Aregbesola said legal action would be considered.
He said this in a statement by his media adviser, Sola Fasure, titled, ‘Hold your heads high’.
Among the shortcomings identified by the minister included vote-buying, absence of result sheets, absence of INEC officials, and disenfranchisement.
He, however, urged the party members to remain peaceful, assuring them that the credibility of the election would be challenged.
”On behalf of the Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, I will like to thank you most sincerely for heeding the call earlier this morning to participate in our party’s governorship primary and conduct yourselves most peacefully. You adopted a non-violent posture, even in the face of sore provocation.
”You have demonstrated your loyalty to the party and democratic ideals. You have comported yourselves as Omoluabi in the true essence.
”We have received and continue to receive the reports of the shenanigans of the officials who conducted the sham of an election. We have been inundated with reports state-wide of how your names were expunged from the party’s voters register, which was not made available until this morning, contrary to the convention of making the list available to the candidates before the election.
”We have heard of how party registration cards were being hawked this morning to the supporters of the state governor.
”We have also received reports of how accreditation was not done at all in many wards and how people without party identification just participated and queued behind the governor in many polling units.
”We have received the report from our members and independent observers, how government officials and notable supporters of the governor officiated in the election, how votes were farcically counted in favour of the governor and how the votes recorded for him were more than the number of voters accredited ab initio in many units.
”We have heard of the absence of result sheets and other vital documents for recording results and vital data. We note also the absence of INEC officials in most wards, casting serious doubt on the credibility of the election.
”We note with shame and much regret the consternation of local and international observers on what they regard as a travesty of an election.
”I will urge you to maintain your cool and calm. Be not downcast, be not agitated. Hold your head high. We are still receiving and studying all these reports and will take a definitive position on them.
”You are urged not to take laws into your hands. Please leave the rest to the Almighty God and let us explore all peaceful and legal means for addressing the matter in order to obtain justice.
”Please remain committed to peace and the rule of law. Be unflinching in your commitment to the democratic ideals. Democracy is for the long haul. As you all know, we never tire and we never give up on the cause we believe in. Be rest assured that victory is ours.”