…Urge PDP supporters to be law abiding
As condemnation trails the declaration of All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Gboyega Oyetola as Osun State governor elect after Thursday supplementary election, Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki and former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar have joined in describing the handling of the election as a mockery of democracy.
Saraki in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu, said “yesterday, we witnessed another display of the subversion of the will of the Osun people during the re-run gubernatorial elections in the State.
The election was characterised by widespread voter intimidation, violence and harassment.
Accredited observers were denied access to polling units and duly registered voters were prevented from participating in the electoral process by thugs and compromised security agents..
“Like I said a few days ago, this needless re-run election was only designed as an avenue for the ruling party to perpetrate electoral fraud.
The nature of these elections is an embarrassment to our democracy and casts an alarming pall on the institutions responsible for protecting the will of the Nigerian people as stated through their votes.
That was why for more than ten hours the INEC could not collate and announce results in just seven polling units with just over 2000 votes.
“It is surprising that the election in which on Saturday, the two leading candidates were running neck to neck with the PDP candidate having an edge, four days later, as a result of manipulations and impossible conditions, the APC candidate is now being credited with all the votes and some paltry number of votes were being recorded for the PDP candidate.
“It is important for Nigerians and the international community to insist that the hands of the clock should not be turned back in terms of the achievements we recorded in the last general elections.
We should not make a mockery of democracy by conducting elections in the manner that the Osun Polls were conducted. The Osun election is a clear indication of how the 2019 election will be conducted.
It demonstrates that if we cannot conduct free, peaceful and fair elections in seven polling units spread across four local government areas of a state, then the conduct of the general elections in 774 local government areas across 36 states of the country is already endangered”.
According to the senate president, it is disheartening that the major beneficiaries of those credible processes are now the ones subverting the basic principles of democracy in every way possible.
On his own part, Atiku said the declaration by INEC is a travesty of justice and a demonstration of tyranny, stressing that the unnecessary rerun, in polling units cancelled or voided by the INEC, was nothing more than a red herring, to distract attention and gain time, while the ruling party perfected strategies to pull a fast one on the electorate, as it has done today.
Calling on the international community not to stand idly by while democracy is being trampled upon in the country, Atiku said Nigeria as a unique nation is very strategic to Africa in terms of population and location, warning that a destabilised Nigeria will destabilise Africa and this must never be allowed to hold.