The Resident Electoral Commissioner in Osun State, Mr Olusegun Agbaje, has offered to resign his appointment with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) should the commission be indicted for partiality in the conduct of the recently held Osun election.
Agbaje made this pledge on Wednesday at the presentation of the Certificate of Return to the Governor-elect, Gboyega Oyetola by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The REC maintained that INEC remained neutral throughout the process and insisted that INEC had done its best to deliver a credible poll and promote its image.
“If at the end of litigation at the Supreme Court of Nigeria, the commission is found culpable for not discharging its responsibility faithfully and diligently, I will take full responsibility for any such laxity, publicly apologise to all Nigerians and thereafter resign my appointment with the commission.
“It should be put on record that after carrying out a thorough investigation of all the allegations of intimidation of voters suspected to belong to a particular party, violence, arrest of journalists and observations raised by some groups, the commission discovered that all the allegations were not absolutely correct,” the REC said.
He added that the case of those arrested by the police with fake observer tags was still being investigated.
The REC, however, recommended that issues raised by the US, UK, EU and the domestic observer groups be closely studied by the commission for further appropriate action.
Mr Agbaje expressed delight that reports received so far confirmed that the election was free, fair and credible despite challenges from politicians who had wanted victory at all costs.
The commissioner commended the people of Osun State for the maturity displayed before, during and after the election.
“It is important to point that the successful outcome of the Osun state governorship election would not have been possible without the cooperation of the electorates who came out in their large number to vote for the candidate of their choice.
“ This is a vindication of our repeated declaration in the run-up to the election that only the people of Osun state with their PVC will decide the winner of the election and not INEC.
“Just like the first round of the governorship election on Sept. 22, the supplementary election substantially met global best practices in the conduct of the election as adjudged by the vast majority of the stakeholders especially many party leaders in Osun state”.
Meanwhile the Governor-elect has promised not to disappoint the electorates who reposed confidence in him through the submission of their mandate to him on Sept. 22.
Alhaji Oyetola, the candidate of the All Progressives Congress gave the assurance at the presentation of the Certificate of Return in Osogbo.
Oyetola who dedicated the victory to the people of Osun polled 255,505, to defeat his major rival in the Peoples Democratic Party, Senator Ademola Adeleke, that scored 255,023 in the election.
Oyetola promised to run an all-inclusive and participatory government, stressing that people of Osun will continue to enjoy the benefits of good governance under his welfaristic administration.
“I promise to justify the confidence reposed in me. I assure the people of our dear state that I will serve to the best of my ability and I will run an all inclusive and participatory government “
“I will always consult majority of stakeholders in taking crucial decisions and the implementation of the policies and programmes that will positively effect the lives of our people.”
“It was tough, but we thank God. I want to assure you that the welfare of our people and security will be the focus of my administration. I will run people’s friendly government. I am going to work together to ensure that we justify the confidence people reposed in me.”
The governor-elect commended the electoral body for doing what he described as an “excellent job” in conducting the governorship poll.
The INEC National Commissioner in charge of Oyo, Ekiti and Osun states, Mr Adedeji Soyebi, presented Oyetola and his Deputy, Mr Benedict Alabi with the Certificate of Returns at a ceremony held at state INEC office in Osogbo, the state capital.