APM, Akinlade reject result as Abiodun emerges
• Osoba poised to retain control of Ogun
Halfway into the collation and announcement of the gubernatorial election result of Ogun State by the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) of Independent National Electoral Commissioner (INEC), Allied Peoples Movement (APM) and its gubernatorial candidate, Adekunle Akinlade, rejected the results.
Although, the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) had won 11 out of the 15 local governments declared so far until the commission went on break at about 3:30pm pending when the results of the remaining five local government arrive, the APM Campaign Director General, Sarafa Isola, who addressed the media alongside Akinlade at the party’s secretariat at Leme, Abeokuta, alleged that the exercise, which began peacefully on Saturday, was allegedly hijacked by hoodlums and ‘unidentified uniform men’ during the collation stage, and further manipulated the results in favour of the ruling party.
Ishola said his party had already petitioned Ogun REC, Prof. Abdulganiyu Raji, to investigate the infractions and to stop the collation and announcement of results forthwith, just as he lamented that despite APM’s complaints “the REC is adamant and determined to reconvene and continue to exercise.He condemned the election, describing it as a miscarriage of justice. According to him, “The results did not reflect the wishes of the electorate as freely expressed on Saturday. I hereby, on behalf of APM, formally reject the collation process that was hijacked and compromised because it did not reflect the wishes of the people of Ogun State, as freely expressed on March 9, 2019 governorship and House of Assembly elections.
“The APM wishes to put INEC on notice that we shall explored every means within provisions of the constitution and the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to challenge this miscarriage of justice. We shall also ensure that the wishes of the people of Ogun State as freely expressed at the polls are protected.”
Akinlade on his part said, “The people of Ogun State have been raped,” while urging them to maintain peace while the leadership of APM explores all legal means to undo the alleged injustice. Meanwhile, APC spokesman, Mr. Tunde Oladunjoye, said Akinlade and APM are bad losers, advising them to go to the tribunal to challenge the result.
According to him, “If they fail to do, we shall in our own go to court for manifest malpractices which they perpetrated during the election. In Ewekoro it was outright vote buying, in Obafemi Owode one of their candidates was arrested.”The APC dismissed APM and Akinlade’s call for cancellation as fowl cry.
Meanwhile, information reaching The Guardian suggest that the APC candidate, Mr. Dapo Abiodun, and some of the party’s faithful are already rejoicing and celebrating while the collation and announcement was still ongoing.Meanwhile, former governor of Ogun State, Chief Segun Osoba might have regained his grasp of the state’s politics following the victory of APC over APM and Akinlade in Obafemi Owode Local Government where himself (Osoba) and Governor Ibikunle Amosun hail from.
APC scored 13,660 to defeat APM, Amosun’s preferred APM in the gubernatorial poll, which had 8,303 in Obafemi Owode. Olumide Osoba, son of the former governor also defeated the governor’s candidate, Mikhail Kazzim for the Obafemi-Owode/Odeda/Abeokuta North Federal Constituency.
The Ogun elections were, however, a battle of ‘ego’ and politics of survival between Osoba and Amosun. Both personalities have been at loggerheads since the incumbent emerged governor on the platform of defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in 2011.Although Osoba had ruled Ogun from 1999 to 2003 on the platform of Alliance for Democracy (AD), he was defeated by Gbenga Daniel of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the controversial 2003 elections and consequently had to stay away from the state for seven years until Daniel completed his two terms in 2011.
A similar fate befell Osoba when Amosun became governor in 2011, as both fell apart not long after the incumbent assumed office. As at 2015, when the incumbent was running for second term, all the loyalists of the erstwhile governor were edged out by Amosun leaving him (Osoba) with little or no political relevance until the 2019 polls.However, with recent development the former governor and a founding member of APC, who was forced to defect to Social Democratic Party (SDP) in the build up to the 2015 elections due to irreconcilable differences between him (Osoba), Amosun and the national leader of the party, Bola Tinubu, may have bounced back.
Un till recently, Osoba has been one of those that spearheaded the campaign against what some APC stakeholders regarded as Amosun’s anti-party activities, as he personally introduced Abiodun to several top-ranking traditional rulers and leaders across the state.
This may be the second time an incumbent governor of Ogun would fail to install a stooge that was planted on another platform. In 2011, erstwhile Governor Daniel planted Gboyega Nasir Isiaka on Peoples Party of Nigeria (PPN) while he remained in PDP. Both party lost to the incumbent governor who as at the time contested on APC platform.
It also sad that the defeat of Akinlade by Abiodun, who hails from Ogun East, this time around would also bring to mind how Ogun West, the only senatorial district that is yet to produce a governor in the state lost its chances of producing the governor to Ogun Central in 2011. In 2011, Isiaka and Gen. Tunji Olurin both from Ogun West appeared on the governorship ballot, a situation Amosun capitalised on. A similar scenario played in 2015 when the incumbent relied on power of incumbency to trash Isiaka who contested on PDP platform.
In his opening speech during the collation and announcement of result at INEC office Magbon, Abeokuta, Raji said the election was peaceful, fair and credible as against initial speculations and fears it may be marred by violence.He said himself and his team initially planned to visit about 16 local government areas while the exercise was ongoing on Saturday “but we are overwhelmed by the peaceful nature of the election and also the conduct of the electorate as well as the security agents which forced us to stop the visit when we got to the eighth local government.”The REC, however, urged anybody who has any issue concerning the election at the court or Election Tribunal.
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