The electoral commission, INEC, has declared the Osun State governorship election “inconclusive.”
The declaration was made by Joseph Fuwape, the presiding officer of the election at the INEC headquarters in Osun.
At the end of the collation of votes, the PDP candidate, Ademola Adeleke, won majority votes of about 254,698 votes while Gboyega Oyetola of the APC came a close second with 254,345 votes. Both leading candidates had a difference of about 354 votes.
“Unfortunately as the returning officer, it’s not possible to declare anybody as the clear winner of the election on the first ballot,” Mr Fuwape, Vice Chancellor of the Federal University of Technology, Akure, said.
He explained that the total registered voters in the five polling units where elections were cancelled is 3,498 votes. Since that figure was higher than the difference between the votes of the leading candidates, a re-run election had to be conducted, the INEC chief explained.
“I, Joseph Adeola Fuwape, hereby, declare this election inconclusive,” he said.
INEC’s election guideline made pursuant to Section 153 of the Electoral Act stipulates a rerun if the margin of victory in an election is lower than the number of voters in units where elections are cancelled.
In that case, rerun will hold in areas where elections are cancelled.
The electoral commission later declared Thursday, September 27 as the day of the rerun election.
The announcement by INEC came shortly after the Adeleke campaign organisation appealed to election body not to declare the election inconclusive.
A statement sent to PREMIUM TIMES by the Director of Publicity of the campaign, Olawale Rasheed, said, “Our attention has been drawn to reports of an alleged plan to declare the Osun governorship election inconclusive as a plot to order a re-run.
“We appeal to INEC to toe the path of honour and constitutionality by declaring the rightful candidate with required votes and spread, Ademola Adeleke, the winner of this hotly contested polls.
“We note with high sense of responsibility the intense pressure surrounding Osun election from the begining. There are times however when one must stands with the people and the law by doing the right thing without fear of favour. Now is the time for INEC to align with Osun people and resist pressure and intimidation to tamper with the will of the people.
“Osun people are expectant of a liberation day which is today when their yearnings to be free will be fulfilled.Delaying the announcement of the results or doctoring the outcome is an invitation to people’s anger and wrath.
“We urge people of goodwill locally and internationally to prevail on the APC and her chieftains to concede defeat.Our democracy is too stressed up to be subjected to another daylight electoral robbery.
“We reject plan and plot for re-run;a winner has clearly emerged.To INEC chiefs,time is now to announce Senator Nurudeen Ademola as the winner of this historic election.”
SOURCE: Premium Times