Groups call for probe of Osun governorship election

Two civil society groups and some politicians have called for a probe into the Sept. 22 governorship poll and the re-run election of Sept. 27 over alleged irregularities.

The Odua Youth Development Initiatives (OYDI) and Virtues Unlimited Restorative Justice Initiative (VURJI) alleged that the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) of conniving with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to manipulate the election results in favour of its candidate.

The opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is presently at the election tribunal, contesting the result of the exercise.

The groups identified lack of transparency, harassment of observers and media personnel as well as the failure of card readers as some of the incidents that marred the election won by Gboyega Oyetola of the APC.

One of the speakers at a Colloquium in Osogbo, on Monday, a popular musician and a social critic, Charles Oputa condemned the conduct of some INEC officials, who he said worked against the interest of the electorates.

Oputa maintained that a comprehensive probe of the exercise will forestall incidents of inducements, voters harassments and manipulations of figures in future elections.

“Nigeria owes it a duty to the next generation to make sure that elections reflect the true wishes of the people and citizens must rise up to resist manipulations by the electoral umpire.

“I hereby urged the youths to rise up in defence of true democracy, selfless leadership and natural justice without which no country can truly progress.

“It is only in doing this that inaccuracies recorded during the supplementary election of Sept. 27  can be forestalled,” he said.

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Other speakers call for credibility, citing various reports of observer groups like the Nigeria Bar Association, Centre for Democracy and Development, UK, US and EU missions.

Varying contributors at the occasion described the supplementary election as falling short of credibility and neutrality standards.

They noted that judiciary remains the last hope of the common man and thus called on the judiciary to be above board in handling petitions arising from the polls with a view to sustaining public confidence in the system.

Meanwhile, members of nine political parties at the gathering spoke on the need for the International community to pay closer attention to the 2019 general elections in view of previous experiences.

Speaking on behalf of other political parties, PDP spokesperson, Dr Lere Oyewunmi accused the election umpire of conniving with the ruling party to tamper with card readers during the last election.

Oyewumi stressed the need for public vigilance and advised political parties to intensify voter education and ensure politically motivated persons are presented as party agents.

By Adeyinka Aremu, Osogbo

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