Protest: Saraki, others teargassed as they protest to INEC office

Top leaders of opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) including its presidential aspirants, on Friday, led a protest to the head office of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Abuja against the result of the Osun State governorship election.

Senate President Bukola Saraki others on a cabstar van during a protest staged by PDP stalwarts to INEC headquarters in Abuja on Friday.

Senate President Bukola Saraki others on a cabstar van during a protest staged by PDP stalwarts to INEC headquarters in Abuja on Friday.

The protest was spearheaded by Senate President Bukola Saraki, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, Uche Secondus, National Chairman of the party and Sokoto State Governor Aminu Tambuwal.

They were, however, allegedly tear-gassed by the Police when the procession reached the Force Headquarters in the Federal Capital Territory.

They marched to the headquarters of the INEC to demand that the commission declare the PDP candidate, Ademola Adeleke, as the winner of the Osun State governorship election.

Police, teargassed the protesters at Force Headquarters

Police teargassed the protesters at Force Headquarters

Others stalwart of the party tear-gassed were Governors Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State,  Taraba State’s Darius Ishaku, former Jigawa State governor Sule Lamido, Senators Dino Melaye, Ben Murray-Bruce and presidential aspirant Danti Baba Ahmed among others.

The protesters expressed dissatisfaction with the conduct of the Osun election, accusing INEC of manipulating the result of the rerun poll.

Although Adeleke was in the lead after the total votes were added as of Sunday, Sept. 23, the election was declared inconclusive because the cancelled votes exceeded the vote difference between the two leading candidates.

A rerun was conducted thereafter and Gboyega Oyetola of the All Progressives Congress (APC) was eventually declared the winner of the election.

May Agbamuche-Mbu and Mohammed Haruna, officials of INEC addressing the protesters.

May Agbamuche-Mbu and Mohammed Haruna, officials of INEC addressing the protesters.

But some officials of INEC, May Agbamuche-Mbu and Mohammed Haruna, addressed the protesters, assuring them of the commission’s determination to conduct credible elections in 2019.

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Meanwhile, the Police invited Saraki, Dino Melaye and Murray-Bruce for allegedly leading thugs to destroy police property and injure police personnel during the protest.

A statement signed by Force PRO, Acting DCP Jimoh Moshood, said they are  “hereby invited to report themselves to the IGP Monitoring Unit at the Force Headquarters on Monday, 8th October 2018 for investigation”.

The Police headquarters alleged that the senators, who were captured on camera, were  involved in the disturbance of public peace and public safety, unlawful blockade of Shehu Shagari way for several hours preventing motorists, road users and other members of the public from having access and passage on the highway thereby disturbing public peace and public safety and causing innocent people to scamper for safety.

The Force said the senators were also being invited for the violent attack on policemen posted to ensure the security of the Force Headquarters, pushing and hitting the Policemen to forcefully enter the Force Headquarters to cause damage to Police equipment and Government properties.

By our correspondent

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