US, EU, UK observers who were very much around to monitor the Osun rerun election which took place yesterday, disclosed that voters’ intimidation, interference and harassment was witnessed in the election that left APC’s candidate, Gboyega Oyetola, declared winner of the election.
Speaking to newsmen on the missions’ joint report, the US Consul General, Mr John F. Bray, said;
“The missions of the United States, European Union and the United Kingdom observed voting at polling stations in Osun today (Thursday). We witnessed what appeared to be incidents of interference and intimidation of voters and have reports of harassment of party monitors, journalists and domestic observers.
“We are very concerned by these reports and we will be checking with stakeholders to determine the facts. We call on all stakeholders to remain calm.”
Recall that the Osun rerun election which took place in seven polling units in Osogbo, commenced early with electoral materials and officials arriving early at the units. However highlights of the election include several arrests, reports of intimidation and manipulation. There was also report of election observers being prevented from moving freely or gaining access to polling units, while the Independent National Electoral Commission also expressed concern about reports it received.
However with all the reports, the Independent National Electoral Commission declared the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Gboyega Oyetola, as the Governor-elect of Osun State. The returning officer, Prof. Joseph Fuwape, declared that the APC candidate, Oyetola, won the governorship election by scoring a total number of 255,505 votes while Adeleke of the PDP polled 255,023 votes.
This was, however, met with protests by Adeleke, the PDP, and the Coalition of United Political Parties, among others. Adeleke had won the main election on Saturday with 353 votes after polling 254,698 against Oyetola’s 254,345. On Thursday, both candidates relied on 2,637 votes in the seven units where the Independent National Electoral Commission had declared rerun to win the final contest.