THE OYETOLA YOU DON’T KNOW
How APC bagged Osun
The ruling APC, which narrowly lost the Osun State gubernatorial election, bounced back after a rerun that it won with a landslide. Before Thursday’s victory, many things went into play, after last week’s declaration of the election as inconclusive by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). In the main election, the PDP had polled 254,698 while APC scored 254,345 votes, showing a margin of 353 votes.
According to the Chief Returning Officer and Vice-Chancellor of Federal University of Technology, Akure, Prof. Joseph Fuwape, the margin of lead by the PDP was less than the 3,498 votes allegedly cancelled in some polling units which warranted the rerun.
The tone of the election soon changed, with PDP handlers saying their candidate, Ademola Adeleke, must be declared winner. On the other hand, INEC, the APC and its candidate Gboyega Oyetola, said the law was clear on when and how a candidate could be declared winner. Along the line, they both began serious preparations for the rerun which was preceded by highwire politics as the two parties tried to woo the SDP candidate, Senator Iyiola Omisore, who came a distant third with over 120,000 votes.
Despite the results he garnered, Omisore became the beautiful bride as some of the units where election was to hold were his strongholds. The PDP earlier made the move to woo Omisore to support his candidate, Ademola Adeleke. The Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, led other bigwigs of the party to a meeting with Omisore on Monday and the outcome appears reassuring.
Interestingly, two days after the APC made similar move sending a highpowered delegation led by the National Chairman, Adam Oshiomhole himself and governors of Kano, Ogun, Oyo, Kebbi, governor-elect of Ekiti, Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed and the Deputy Speaker of House of Representatives, Yusuf Lasun.
It was learnt that Omisore eventually gave in to the pressure of APC leaders after being stampeded with “irresistible offers”. He told newsmen that the SDP has agreed to form a coalition government with APC, saying on the basis of that his supporters would vote for the APC in the rerun.
The rerun eventually held on Thursday amidst tension in the seven affected wards. At the end of the rerun, the APC polled landslide results upturned PDP’s margin while Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola was eventually declared the winner of the election.
The INEC returning officer while declaring the final result said the APC polled 255,505 while PDP secured 255,023 votes with the former overtaking the latter with 482 votes. This was not without protest from the PDP which leaders and the governorship candidate described the outcome of the election as a rape of democracy.
South-West chairman of the party, Dr. Eddy Olafeso in a chat with Daily Trust Saturday expressed confidence that the court would return the party’s stolen mandate in Osun, saying, the APC-led Federal Government has “put the entire nation to shame by the brutal attack on Nigerians during the election”.
Undoubtedly, Adeleke had given a big fight long before the election which lost at last.
On Saturday last week, there was rapturous jubilations towards evening in Osun, when the vote count was neckto-neck between him and Oyetola. In certain moments, he moved ahead in the polls before “condemned” ballots surfaced in some quarters, a development that led to the declaration of the election as inconclusive. Before then, he had passed through turmoil to prove that he had been to secondary school, considering his cases with the police over alleged certificate forgery.
There were allegations that INEC was also configured to rob Adeleke of his win, but the electoral umpire had distanced itself from the allegations. Though the elections had been won and lost, analysts believe that there is still a long way for APC to celebrate and legal cases might pop up. There are echoes across the PDP family on the need for action, with ex- VP Atiku Abubakar in the lead.
“I wish to say to Senator Ademola Adeleke and the good people of Osun State that I stand with you today and tomorrow in your time of need. I will not be presumptuous to tell you what to do. But what I can tell you is that whatever you choose to do, I will be with you both in word and in action,” Atiku said.
It is now left to be seen what will transpire in the coming days ahead of the formal inauguration of Oyetola. However, while PDP believes it is daylight robbery, the APC sees the outcome in Osun as consolidation. For now, the South West is 100 percent APC and many believe this is a pointer to many things that will unfold come 2019.