Osun 2018 Election: Facts And Figures

Specifically, Section 153 of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) empowers the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in pursuit of the provisions of the Act, to “issue regulations, guidelines or manuals for the purpose of giving effect to the provisions of this Act and for its administration thereof”.

 

 

However, the criticism against INEC on the conduct of Osun election clearly show that there is a serious challenge of not only ineptitude and incompetence of opposition party, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), but also hypocrisy and nepotism. The resultant consequence of this is that the commission may be in danger in the hands of the opposition as the 2019 general elections approach.

This is because, INEC has made guidelines and regulations to protect the sanctity of voting processes and where the processes are disrupted to disenfranchise voters and such disruption will affect the result of the poll, the needful has to be done, which the INEC did in the instance case of Osun.

It is common knowledge that politicians hijacked ballot papers, chased away voters and disrupted processes and procedures to gain an unfair advantage on September 22 when the first ballot of Osun election was cast. Because the margin between the two leading candidates is less than the number of registered voters in the affected polling units, the INEC, in line with the guidelines and regulations it formulated gave the affected voters another opportunity to vote where their number will make a difference to the outcome of the election. The Commission has applied this regulation in several polls. So there is nothing new here. This was implemented in Governorship elections in Imo (2011 and 2015), Anambra (2013), Taraba (2015), Kogi and Bayelsa (2015) and several other polls.

As a ruling party PDP introduced inconclusive elections since 2011 and in 2018, the same party, as an opposition is telling Nigerians that Osun inconclusive election is unconstitutional. PDP has again proven his documented history since 2015, of raising hypocritical accusations on INEC and intellectual dishonest against Osun 2018 election. Amazingly, supporters of PDP, former ruling party who introduced inconclusive elections to Nigeria in 2011 spoke ignorantly on the issue of Osun 2018 rerun.

They ought to have been better informed rather than the shameful falsehood they tried to disseminate on the conduct of Osun 2018 election. These are verifiable facts. The PDP campaign of calumny for 2018 Osun election will not repair or reverse the damage which they inflicted on themselves in all their years of misrule in Nigeria. They betrayed the peoples’ trust and the people of Nigeria will not be fooled a second time. The downhill slide of their political fortunes is irreversible.

By conducting Osun rerun election, INEC sought to protect its integrity and sanctity of not just the Commission but its leadership as well as the professional capabilities of the Commission. However, due to irregularities which marred the election at some polling units in Ife North, Osogbo, Ife South and Orolu local government areas, including cases of card reader malfunctioning, ballot boxes snatching, among others, 3,498 votes were cancelled in the affected polling units and these are stronghold of APC in the state.

The candidate of the PDP, Ademola Adeleke, had polled 254,698 votes ahead of the APC’s Gboyega Oyetola, who polled 254,345 votes.

The legal contest of rerun was settled by the Supreme Court in the case between James Faleke, the running mate to Audu Abubakar, who won the 2015 Kogi governorship election and died before INEC announced the results.  The Supreme Court held that the INEC guidelines provides for a rerun where voting was marred by violence, processes are disrupted to disenfranchise voters and the margin was more than the margin of victory; that there should be a rerun in those places so as to enable disenfranchised voters there to participate in the process. What INEC has done is right, legal, proper and constitutional.

Those who are making a noise that INEC cannot do it were the same people making arrangements, talking to Iyiola Omisore to support them in the rerun. You can see that there is no sincerity in those who are making the noise.

INEC did it in Anambra in 2013, where election did not take place in some local governments, some polling units and some wards. So, they postponed the election and it took place, after which they compiled the votes and declared Obiano the winner. So, this has been the pattern. There is nothing wrong with what the commission did in Osun.

Some inconclusive elections in Nigeria which INEC has conducted since 2011 are Osun 2018, Imo 2011 and 2015, Bayelsa 2015, Anambra 2013, Taraba 2015, Kogi 2015 and other polls. With a margin of 482 votes, APC’s Gboyega Oyetola was declared Osun governor-elect by the INEC Returning Officer, Prof. Joseph Afuwape after the supplementary election held in seven units across four local government areas where election could either not hold on September 22 or was cancelled due to irregularities.

Nobody has questioned INEC on inconclusive elections in Nigeria. PDP did not go to court to challenge INEC on inconclusive elections from 2011 until Osun 2018 recently. The commission has been applying this regulation in several polls. So there is nothing new here.

INEC had issued an official statement about the conduct of the Osun State governorship election. In what can pass as the tightest governorship election in the annals of elections in the country, the Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Senator Ademola Adeleke, polled 254,698 votes while his closest marker, Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola, of the All Progressives Congress, APC scored 254,345 votes. Adeleke led with 353 votes, which is a far cry from the 3,498 voided votes in Orolu LGA (three units, 947 votes), Ife South (two units, 1,314 votes), Ife North (one unit, 353 votes), and Osogbo (one unit, 884 votes). Consequently, while announcing the result of the Saturday’s election, the electoral umpire said it was inconclusive and ordered a re- run to be conducted on Thursday, September 27 in four council areas where 3,498 votes were voided. This emerged as the PDP kicked against the re-run and vowed to go to court, insisting that it won the election.

The affected areas are APC stronghold. APC won the election with wide margin in Osogbo with 23,379 against PDP 14,499, Ife North 6,527 votes against PDP 5,486 votes and Ife South Local Government 7,223 against PDP 4,872 votes based on result released by INEC on September 23rd. These are strongholds of APC where the party had clearly won the first ballot.

So, based on the results collated by the Returning Officer, the margin between the leading candidates is 353, and is lower than the number of registered voters in the affected areas. Extant law and INEC Guidelines and Regulations provide that where such situation occurs, a declaration may not be made.

 

Cases Of Inconclusive Elections In Nigeria

 

Imo Guber Elections 2015

Okorocha (APC)              –          385,671

Ihedioha  (PDP)               –         306,142

Margin                              –           79,529

Cancelled votes               –         144,715

INEC Decision: election declared inconclusive, supplementary elections conducted

PDP Position: Applauded INEC

APC Position: Kicked against rerun but eventually participated and won

 

Anambra Senatorial Election 2011

Dora Akunyili (APGA)                  –          66,273

Chris Ngige ( ACN)       –          65,576

Margin                              –               697

Cancelled votes               –            7,930

INEC Decision: election declared inconclusive, supplementary elections conducted

ACN Position: applauded INEC

APGA Position: Kicked against rerun but eventually participated and lost.

ACN eventually won with 69,765 votes against APGA’s 69,292

 

Kogi Guber Election 2015

Abubakar Audu (APC)    –         240,867

Wada Idris (PDP)            –         199,514

Margin                               –           41,353

Cancelled votes                –           49,953

INEC Decision: election declared inconclusive, supplementary elections conducted

PDP Position: applauded INEC

APC Position: Kicked against rerun but eventually participated and won

 

Bayelsa Guber Elections 2015

Dickson ( PDP)                –          105,748

Sylva ( APC)           –                72,594

Margin                     –                33,154

Cancelled votes       –                120,000 (due to over-voting)

INEC Decision: election declared inconclusive, supplementary elections conducted

PDP Position: kicked against rerun wondering how 120,000 total number of registered voters. All showed up on election date and cast their ballot for candidate Sylva!

APC Position: Kicked against rerun claiming he won all 120,000 votes as returned by INEC officer in Southern Ijaw LGA.

Both parties eventually participated in the rerun and PDP won

 

Anambra Guber Election 2013

Obiano ( APGA)        –               174,710

Tony Nwoye ( PDP)  –                 94,956

Margin                        –                 79,754

Cancelled votes         –                113,113

INEC Decision: election declared inconclusive, supplementary elections conducted

PDP Position: applauded INEC

APGA Position: Kicked against rerun but eventually participated and won!!!