ACLN reacts to the inconclusive Osun State election.
We, at ACLN, critically noted the just concluded gubernatorial election in Osun State which was declared inconclusive by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) last Saturday, the 22nd of September, 2018; following the insignificant margin of 353 leading votes, which was far below the voided votes of 3,498 in four of the Local Government Areas. This, according to INEC, contravenes the criteria for declaring the winner, if such occurs at any time.
Since the electoral umpire (INEC) reserves the right to decide on the situation according to the provision of its act, there is no argument to be made on the position. But the suspected irregularities and fouls after the elections must still be attended to, according to the circulating demands.
Barring the stance of inconclusiveness of the election and the aftermath grouses, we still commend the electorate and INEC for holding up the pillar of peace during and after the exercise in Osun State. It is an advancement on a part, if not totally. And the act was a remarkable civilization on both parties.
However, upon information and spiral news, a gross rigging was reported in favour of All Progressive Congress (APC). An instance among others was the case of one Administrative Officer of INEC, Mr. Salau Mutiu that was caught tearing the pasted results of the gubernatorial election in Ayedaade Council Area of the State. The result was said to have People’s Democratic Party (PDP) candidate leading conspicuously. Some fouls were also mentioned in favour of the PDP, but it was majorly to the APC as reported.
This, we still perceive a stain in the white garment of any unblemished democracy. Nothing of such should have happened in a true free and fair election. Hence, this calls for a critical focus in the imminent re-run. And every electorate should be on guard to prevent re-occurrence of the same malpractices.
It is to be noted that for a true democracy to be sustained, INEC and the incumbent government should not meddle in any unfair practice, but must allow people’s voice to be heard through an absolute free and fair election; without any inducement to the electorate in expectance of any favour. Any candidate that emerges after all would be the wish of the electorate. And no one would be blamed for any shortcoming or under performance afterward. The electorate would be held responsible, and not, the influence of any politician or the incumbent government.
It was also reported that several opposition party members were being intimidated through arrests, kidnappings and lynching. If this is actually true, it would be unhealthy for Nigeria democracy to thrive. This is expected to be far to reach in approach in the on-going preparations, if the choice of Osun people would come to stay.
More importantly, we are calling on the voters in the remaining area where INEC will be rolling out a re-run. They are hereby implored to be cautioned and understand that their vote is their future. No electorate should allow any politician to cajole them to buying their votes. Apart from being a criminal offense, selling of votes portrays anyone unpatriotic. And it would consequently be a bane of Nigeria problem. If good governance is desired in Osun State, every citizen is advised to vote for a leader that would lead them through their vision for the state.
By and large, a peaceful election is paramount for any democracy and every principal participant in the coming re-run should still ensure same. Whoever emerges as the final winner should be respected and accepted as the wish of the electorate, in one accord. Peace, we fervently preach, should continue to reign before, during and after the rescheduled election in Osun State, come the 27th of September, 2018.