The Offa Patriot

07 Sep 2013

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On the face value, it would seem an advent of political renaissance, for a politician, a Nigerian politician for that matter, to reject his own victory in a publicly conducted election. But it happened last Wednesday in Offa, Kwara State, when Mr Afolabi Olawole, turned down the victory handed him by the Kwara State Independent Electoral Commission (KWASIEC). Olawole had contested a rerun election as a councilor in Offa last Saturday.

He is a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). At the end of the election, the state’s electoral commission declared him the winner. But a day after the members of the rival All Progressive Congress protested the electoral robbery in the election, Olawole called a press conference denouncing the outcome of the election declaring that he was indeed not the winner of the said election. He said his rival in the APC truly won the election and wondered why he was declared the winner.

Hear him:  ”In all the eight polling units in my ward (Shawo south west), the PDP lost while the APC won convincingly in all the polling units in the rerun election…”, adding that “ I have resolved not to be a partaker in getting what is not mine from anybody at in Offa”, stressing further that “ the people of Offa have said that they don’t want the PDP. It is clear that Offa people want the APC…” Hmmmm, it sounds too altruistic to be associated with a Nigerian politician.

But Olawole insists he is not guided by anybody but conscious of the “Judgement Day” in the ethereal.

So if PDP lost in all eight polling units of the ward, how come the same PDP was declared the winner? Were the figures made up, as we had often heard? I am aware that in rerun polls like that, state electoral commissions, even without a specific brief from the state governor, do often manipulate the election in favour of the ruling party in the state. Was that what happened in this case?

More importantly, now that Olawole has rejected the result saying it was raw fraud, will the APC candidate in the election, Mr Adefioye Kayode now be declared the winner? Already, the PDP is arguing that Olawole had been dropped from the ballot before the election took place. That is Bunkum with a capital B! So if he was dropped from the ballot, who was his replacement? If he was dropped, why was his name yet on the election documents?

Offa is the home of that principled politician, Late chief J.S Olawoyin who despite all odds, remained steadfast in his support for late Chief Awolowo’s Unity P{arty of Nigeria (UPN), at a time the defunct National Party of Nigeria (NPN) was firmly in charge of the state.

Methinks whatever the ploy is, the likes of Olawole should be encouraged, as such characters are bound to trigger a national rebirth in the political space. But how many Olawales are out there even in the APC?      

Tags: Politics, Nigeria, Featured

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