PDP’s Adeleke in early lead as votes trickle in

The Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP’s) governorship candidate in yesterday’s election in Osun State, Senator Ademola Adeleke, was in the lead as results of the polls began to trickle in last night.

He was ahead of his closest rival and incumbent governor, Adegboyega Oyetola of the All Progressives Congress (APC), in Olorunda LGA with 21,350 votes while Oyetola scored 18,709.

Adeleke was also the preferred candidate in Osogbo LGA, having garnered 30,401 votes to Oyetola’s 22,952.

Oyetola on the other hand garnered 17,421votes in Iwo LGA against Adeleke’s 16,914. The governor also won in Irewole LGA with18,198 votes against Adeleke’s 14,176.

Over one million nine hundred thousand people were eligible to vote in the election across the 30 local government areas of the state.

As at 10pm last night, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had uploaded results from all polling units in 19 of the LGAs into its portal while it had also received results from 3,720 of the 3,763 units.

The LGAs were Obokun, Odo-Otin, Osogbo, Orolu, Boripe, Bolowaduro, Ayedire, Atakumosa East, Atakumosa West, Ife Central, Egbedore, Ayedaade, Ila, Ifedayo, Ilesa West, Ilesa East, Oriade, Irepodun and Ola Oluwa.

The election was generally peaceful with few recorded incidents of infractions.

Vote buying, as it was the case during last month’s governorship election in Ekiti State, was rampant.

Voters’ turnout was modest, according to reports from across the state.

There was tension as residents eagerly awaited the results from INEC at press time.

Both Oyetola and Adeleke said, after casting their votes yesterday, that they were sure of emerging victorious.

Oyetola said: “I worked very hard. I believe I should win the election.

“I believe I have worked very hard in the first three years and seven months. I have done very well in all areas. I don’t have to start to enumerate.

“People have actually reposed a lot of confidence in this administration. They want continuity.

“In any case, I do not take that for granted. I went to all the local government areas and one area office campaigning.”

Adeleke was similarly confident of winning.

His party later claimed victory in the election, citing “collated results from the polling units.”

The Caretaker Chairman of the party in the state, Dr Akindele Adekunle, said in a statement that the PDP had secured majority and more than two thirds spread across the 30 local governments and area office.

He said the ‘victory’ was a product of mass mobilisation and grand coalition of the people of the state.

APC warns PDP: Don’t set Osun on fire
But in a swift reaction, the Director General of the Campaign Council of Governor Adegboyega Oyetola’s re-election, Senator Ajibola Basiru, described the PDP statement as irresponsible.

Basiru said in a statement in Osogbo that the PDP claim was capable of setting the state on fire.

His words:”It has come to our knowledge that the PDP in a statement is already claiming victory for an election whose result is yet to be declared.

“We are not surprised at their claim because we know their antics.

”Going by the results so far declared, there was no way PDP could lay claim to any victory.

“This is more so that in one of the local governments where the PDP candidate hails, voting is still going on as we speak.

”Therefore, the PDP’s claim is tantamount to standing logic on its head.

“We appeal to our supporters and sympathisers in Osun and across the country to remain calm in the face of this obvious provocation.

”While we won’t do what the desperate people in the opposition PDP did by usurping the powers of INEC, we are however confident that with the positive results from the field at our disposal, the people’s support for Governor Oyetola will ultimately give him victory when the authority legally empowered to announce election results does so and he is declared governor-elect.”

Group accuses NSCDC personnel of partisanship
A socio-political group, Osun Shall Rise Again (OSRA), accused officials of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) of working for one of the parties in the election.

Chairman and Secretary OSRA, Saheed Bakare and Lanre Akeju, claimed that NSCDC personnel were openly canvassing votes for one of the candidates while preventing some voters who are known to be sympathisers of the ruling party from casting their ballots.

They said: “It will be recalled that this is not the first time citizens of Osun would be complaining of the unprofessional conduct of the officials and men of the NSCDC in its handling of security issues in the state.

“You will recall that earlier this year, our patriotic students staged a protest over the wanton and brazen abuse of power and misuse of office by the officials and men of the security outfit.

“While we call for a proper investigation of the highly condemnable act, the National Headquarters of the National Security and Civil Defence Corps must sanction all its officers involved in this open show of partisanship.

“We also call on DIG Kokumo, whose primary duty is to superintend over this election to immediately withdraw them from the election exercise before they provoke people to act in self- defence.

”We are aware of the Interior Minister’s preference in this election. He should however do that without endangering the peace of our dear state.

“He should also desist from using state apparatus to settle political scores.”

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