The attention of the nation will shift once again to Osun state on Thursday as voters in seven polling units head to the polls to decide who becomes the next governor of the state.
Currently, less than 400 votes separate the two leading candidates – Ademola Adeleke of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Gboyega Oyetola of the All Progressives Congress (APC). Having polled 254,698 votes and 254,345 votes respectively, only those two candidates still have a chance at winning it.
Three new developments that we should take note of:
- Work-free day: The state governor, Rauf Aregbesola, has declared Thursday a work-free day to enable residents of the state to go out and vote in the rerun election. Statement: “The State Government of Osun has declared Thursday September 27, 2018 a public holiday throughout the state. This is to enable workers to participate in the rerun governorship election taking place in seven units in Ife-North, Ife-South, Orolu and Osogbo Local Government Areas of the State.”
- Payback time: The candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), Iyiola Omisore, became the beautiful bride of the election. Omisore got about 17 percent of the votes in the election, but he no longer stands a chance of becoming the governor. However, some of the affected polling units are in Ile-Ife which is Omisore’s stronghold. Today, Omisore came out in support of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC). “We have accepted to support the APC for victory in the rerun election tomorrow and thereafter form a coalition government,” Omisore said, while addressing journalists at his residence in Ile-Ife on Wednesday. Recall that Omisore was a member of the PDP and was the party’s candidate in the 2014 election. He defected to the SDP, following his realization that he would not get the party’s ticket this time. He has now teamed up with the APC.
- Threat to life?: The PDP candidate, Ademola Adeleke, has alleged that there are threats to his life. In a letter to the United Nations; European Union; the United States and several diplomatic missions in Nigeria by his campaign spokesperson, Rasheed Olawale, the PDP candidate said this:
“I am constrained to write this letter to intimate you, our diplomatic partners and friends of despotic happenings in Osun governorship polls which I won but for which I was not declared the winner. My life is under threat and the leaders of my party are under siege before and after Saturday main polls.
“During the campaigns, we were subjected to countless attacks. I escaped about four assassination attempts. Our campaign vehicles were severally attacked and our rallies disrupted. We went through the pre-election process under constant onslaught from political thugs and merchants of violence.
“Despite the violence-prone climate, I still won the election. On live television, our votes were removed and protestations for re-addition of the votes were rejected. Votes for the ruling party were jerked up and again the electoral umpire refused to correct the arithmetical errors. After all the manipulations which saw about 4000 votes removed from my total votes, I still won by close to 400 votes.”