The Saturday Osun Governorship Election saw the emergency of incumbent Governor Rauf Aregbesola of the All Progressives Congress, APC, candidate defeat main opponent, Senator Iyola Omisore of People’s Democratic Party, PDP, by 394, 684 votes to 292, 747 votes.
The election, which was contested by 20 candidates, was peaceful and largely devoid of incident. Aregbesola had held the lead early in many local government areas as the results of the governorship election came in from the various polling units. But his main challenger, Omisore, was trailing in many of the early results.
Thisday gathered that many PDP leaders in the state also failed to deliver victory at their polling units. In APC, former Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola, who only on Tuesday defected from PDP to APC, lost his polling unit to his former party.
In the final result released by the Independent National Electoral Commission and announced by the state’s returning officer, Professor Bantale Omolere, about 5:30am today, the incumbent governor won in 22 local government areas, while Omisore led in eight local councils. Aregbesola carried the day in nearly all the local government areas in his native Ilesha axis, and Omisore led in the councils in the Ife area.
But Omisore alleged in a statement that Aregbesola had breached the provisions of the Electoral Act by “declaring his own version of the results without recourse to INEC.”
Prominent PDP leaders in the state who lost their polling units to APC included Omisore’s running mate, Adejare Bello; PDP state chairman, Gani Olaoluwa; and former defence minister Erelu Obada.
Aregbesola, who was accredited for the vote about 10.45am at Unit 1, Ward 8, Ifofin, Ilesa, along with his wife, Sherifat, and two sons, told newsmen that he was pleased with the conduct of the election. He urged the people to maintain the peace in the state, warning that those who may attempt to disrupt the democratic process will suffer harsh consequences.
“They will have themselves to blame if they scuttle the democracy,” the governor said. He stressed, “You can see people patriotism and commitment to democracy. If they can be 20 per cent committed like the ordinary people, the nation would have been the best for it. What they are doing by picking our chieftains and members is barbaric. They have been arresting, harassing and molesting our people for no just reason. The democracy is about making your choice freely without being hounded.” It was in reference to an alleged arrest of APC leaders by the federal security forces since the eve of the election.
There was an impressive turnout of voters across the state for the election, which commenced on time at most polling units.
According to the guidelines of the Independent National Electoral Commission, polling units open at 8am for accreditation and close at 12 noon. Voting starts 12:30pm.