The Peoples Democratic Party in Osun State has described the recently concluded Osun local government poll as unnecessary and a deliberate wasting of the state’s resources.
The party, which made the description in a statement signed by Adekunle Akindele, the Osun PDP caretaker chairman in Osogbo on Saturday, added that the purported failure of the exercise was a vindication on its position that illegality would not have its way in the State.
While remarking that the exercise was a sham put up by the outgoing All Progressives Congress (APC) administration, the party urged the State governor, Adegboyega Oyetola to ensure every penny spent in the failed exercise was returned to the State’s coffers.
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“Right from the start, the process was flawed and our efforts to make Oyetola understand this was not appreciated. Polling units across Osun State are either empty or the presence of scanty APC members are what greeted anyone who visited them.
“Ballot papers purportedly used does not specify political parties nor does it designate the local government it was meant for. This explains the curiosity of Osun people and observers, who wondered whether it was an election or referendum that the Oyetola administration conducted.
“The summary of what happened today was that Osun people do not accept the sham disguised as election, and as a party, we are proud of their courage and resoluteness in rejecting a dangerous precedent that posed grave danger to our State.
“It is imperative to point out that apart from the fact that the purported election was conducted in variance to known democratic tenets, the pending litigations challenging the validity of the NOTICE and the processes of the election, which the APC & OSIEC did all within their efforts to frustrate its expeditious determination, is enough to cast the whole exercise into the waste bin.
“The OSIEC Chairman should therefore note that he has prepared a solid ground of gross misconduct for himself and his members, and therefore will be taken to public account and forever go down in history as the biggest fraud that has ever happened to democracy not only in Osun State but Nigeria as a whole.”
Meanwhile, the Osun State governor, Adegboyega Oyetola in his appraisal of the exercise described the entire electoral process as peaceful, orderly, and rancor-free.
He added that it indicated that the nation’s democracy is thriving and progressing steadily.
While expressing optimism on the political future of Nigeria, Oyetola hailed the Osun State Independent Electoral Commission (OSIEC) for its resolve and commitment to have a free, fair, transparent, credible and acceptable electoral process.
“I thank God, the process has been very peaceful, orderly and rancour-free. My wife and I just cast our votes for the candidates of our choice and I believe that is exactly what is happening in virtually all the polling units in the State.
“Local government elections are very important. Local government is the heartbeat of contact in government, so it is important for all of us to exercise our civic responsibility by casting our votes for the candidates of our choice,” he said.
Meanwhile, OSIEC has given reasons it opted to put YES or NO on the ballot paper for the Osun LG poll.
According to the OSIEC Chairman, Segun Oladitan, the Commission opted for the procedure because only the APC has councillorship and chairmanship candidates in the local government election in the State.
Oladitan said other political parties which had indicated an interest in the election failed to submit candidates as of the last day of nomination.
He also disclosed that the election was only for the chairmanship position, revealing that the councillorship candidates had been declared elected unopposed after the closing of nomination.
“As of the close of nomination, the councilors have been declared elected unopposed. But because the chairmanship position requires other tests, a section of the Electoral Act demands that there should be a Yes or No vote.
“Because there were numbers of political parties before, the moment a candidate becomes the only candidate, he has become the candidate of the whole community; so, his popularity has to be tested.
“So, in this election, what we have put in position is the Electoral Act, 2022.”