Six civil society organisations have given the recently concluded Osun State gubernatorial election their seal of approval and praised the umpire, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) “for exhibiting professionalism and neutrality despite threats, intimidation and blackmail before and during the election.”
The six representatives and the groups are Dr. Mrs. Olufunke Adesina of the Centre for Women Agenda (CWA); Comrade Adedapo Ajisegiri of the Campaign Against Social Injustice (CASI); Comrade Onotosho Hakeem of the Centre for Sustainable Dialogue (CSD); Dr. Oyedokun Alli of the Development Advocacy Group (DAG); Comrade Jerry Nwachukwu of the Rights Monitor Agenda (RMA); Comrade Wale Adeoye of the Coalition of Democrats for Electoral Reforms (CODER); Samuel Bakare, Nigerian Human Rights Community (NHRC) and Comrade Ajayi Popoola of the Coalition for Peaceful Election (COPE).
The rerun of the Osun State governorship election was held in seven polling units across four council areas on Thursday, 27th September with the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Gboyega Oyetola, beating the Peoples Democratic Party candidate, Ademola Adeleke. 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.
In a statement issued on Saturday 29th September, 2018, in Lagos, the groups said the election was largely peaceful and congratulated the people of Osun State for “their civil, peaceful and orderly conduct in jealously guarding their mandate and proving that the will of the people is supreme in a democracy.”
The state ment reads in part, “We, the undersigned civil society organizations as election observer groups, heartily congratulate the good people of Osun State for trooping out to the polls both on the 22nd of September and on the 27th September, 2018 rerun election, to elect the state’s helmsman whose outcome is a reflection of the will of the people as expressed at the polls.
“We also congratulate the people of Osun State for their civil, peaceful and orderly conduct in jealously guarding their mandate and proving that the will of the people is supreme in a democracy.
“We as well congratulate the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for exhibiting professionalism and neutrality despite threats, intimidation and blackmail before and during the election. We note with gladness that INEC deployment of it’s personnel and materials on election day was timely, efficient and has received accolades from all relevant stakeholders for a superlative performance.
“We equally commend the international and local observers for their high sense of responsibility in observing the process according to global best practices.
“We commend the media for its professional and unbiased coverage which is critical to deepening democracy and ensuring societal stability.”
The statement further says that while there were incidents of violence on the day of the rerun election, there was no doubt that the most popular candidate won the race.
“We must commend the security agencies for their professional deployment and exhibiting diligence, patriotism and high sense of responsibility in their conduct during both rounds of elections which contributed in no small measure to the success of the election.
“However, we observe that unlike in the first round of election on the 22nd of September, 2018 which was largely peaceful and orderly, there were reports of pocket of violence in some areas far away from the locations of polling stations where the rerun elections took place on Thursday, 27th September, 2018.
“In as much as we recognize that no election anywhere in world can be perfect, we call on the security agencies to investigate this allegations and do the needful. However, we make bold to state with all emphasis, that these allegations does not in anyway distract from the fact that, the will of the people as expressed at the poll, has triumphed.”
They asked the Governor-elect to be magamanious in victory