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Osun Guber Poll: Atiku, Okowa, Tambuwal, Ayu, Davido, others woo voters for Adeleke

.PDP kicks as Oyetola denies party access to stadium, freedom park for mega rally .'We're the real progressives, ready to collect our mandate' .YIAGA Africa urges EFCC, ICPC to arrest vote buyers  

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Blessing Akorowosi, Osogbo


Bigwigs of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) stormed Osogbo to rally support for the election of the party’s governorship candidate in Osun, Sen. Ademola Adeleke.


The presidential candidate of the party, Abubakar Atiku; vice presidential candidate, Ifeanyi Okowa; former vice- president, Namadi Sambo; National Chairman of the party, Iyorchia Ayu; Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal; former governor of Osun, Olagunsoye Oyinlola; Hip-hop artist, David Adeleke popularly known as Davido, amongst others were present.


Addressing the mammoth crowd at the mega rally held at the party’s Secretariat on Thursday, Atiku said Osun State is a PDP state which must be recovered from the present ruling party.


This is as he urged the people of the state to protect their votes and disallow rigging.


“Why did you allow APC steal your victory in the last election? This state is a PDP state. Don’t allow anymore rigging in Osun State. They have been rigging Osun State election, the last rigging, they did it through the court. Protect your vote and bring PDP to power. God bless you all,” he said.


Also speaking, the National party chairman, Iyorchia Ayu said Osun State is in darkness and light must be allowed to shine in the state.


On his part, Oyinloye said the people of the state have tasted of the two parties and know what is best for them.


He said, “I want to remind us as people of Osun, we have tasted the two parties and we know the one that is worthy. The things we did pleased the people which makes them happy with us. Everyone was involved in governance because we carried them along.”


Receiving the party flag, Adeleke appreciated the people for trooping out in their large numbers to support him despite the fact that the government denied them access to use the stadium and freedom park.


He vowed not to let them down, saying it is time to recover his stolen mandate.


He noted that PDP is the real progressives, “we are going to go back to the times of Awolowo. APC is fake progressive. Don’t sell your vote. They are bringing the money they stole from you. Vote for us.”


Also, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Osun State has accused the Governor of the state, Adegboyega Oyetola of denying it the use of Osogbo City Stadium and Freedom Park for its final mega rally.


The party called on President Muhammadu Buhari to intervene as it was severally denied access to the two venues.


Addressing a press conference on Thursday morning, the PDP caretaker committee chairman, Dr Akindele Adekunle stated that any attempt by the ruling All Progressives Congress to subvert the electoral verdict of the people would be resisted as bonafide residents of the state.


Dr. Adekunle pointed out that the state government had remained adamant in denying PDP access to all facilities they formally sought to hold the rally.


He said, “It is elementary for any reasonable government to know that public facilities are meant for public use.


“The main bowl of the Osogbo City Stadium we applied to use for today’s rally for instance, had been put in place and adequately maintained by successive administrations in the state for use of our people  even before Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola retraced his history to Osun State from Lagos for political trading.


“It is therefore absurd and defeatist at that, for the governor to be playing pranks with the same people who have managed the state and the facilities before he was imposed on the state through a globally acknowledged stolen mandate.


“Nigerians should know we chose a path of peace in this instance only for the sake of our people, especially the good people of Osogbo. We reckoned that it will be inhuman to add salt of anarchy Mr Gboyega Oyetola is drifting towards out of frustration, to the injuries of his woeful and scandalous performance in the last four years.


“While we call on President Mohammadu Buhari to be awake about the crisis Oyetola is brewing in Osun State, we call on our people not to be discouraged by the defeatist antics of Mr Oyetola and his baby vuvuzelas. This election is not just about the PDP or Senator Ademola Jackson Nurudeen Adeleke, but for the good of our people and humanity in general.”


Reacting to the allegation, Special Adviser to the governor on Political matters, Hon. Sunday Akere denied the allegation.


Akere said the mentioned venues had already been fixed for other events hence the dissapproval of PDP’s request.


In another development, an election monitoring group, Yiaga Africa has tasked the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) to make arrests of political party leaders, agents and anyone attempting to buy or buy votes before the election and on election day.


Yiaga Africa through its Watching the vote programme had deployed Parallel Vote Tabulation (PVT) methodology for the Osun State election on Saturday for proper monitoring.


Addressing a pre-election press conference in Osogbo on Thursday, the Executive Director of the group, Samson Itodo stated that 500 stationary observers have been deployed as a representative statistical sample of 250 polling units and 32 mobile observers located in all 30 LGAs of Osun state.


“The PVT sample of polling units was drawn according to well-established statistical principles and is truly representative of all of the polling units because the percentage of sampled polling units for each LGA is similar to the percentage of all polling units for each LGA.


“Over the course of Election Day, Yiaga Africa’s data centre in Osun will receive 4,500 text messages containing approximately 54,500 individual pieces of information about the 2022 Osun governorship election. Once the text messages are received at Yiaga Africa’s data centre, they will be processed and reviewed to ensure the information is complete, authentic and accurate,” he said.


Speaking on their current findings,

Board Member of Yiaga Africa, Ezenwa Nwagwu said that there was the imbalance in the distribution of voters to polling units despite the creation of additional polling units.


Nwagwu stated that there are oversized units with registered voters above the threshold of 750 registered voters per polling unit.


In his words, “Osun State has 246 polling units with over 1000 registered voters, Eight polling units with over 2000 registered voters and One  polling unit with over 3,000 Registered voters.”


“Oversized polling units may pose a logistical challenge on election day and that It is imperative for INEC to revisit the expansion of voter access to polling units in order to achieve the desired outcome of the creation of new polling units.”


“Being the last major election before the 2023 general elections, the July 16 polls is an opportunity for INEC to build citizens’ confidence and gain the trust of Nigerians ahead of the 2023 general elections. Thus, it is crucial that the logistics of the election and the technology employed by INEC function optimally.


He urged INEC not to overestimate its capacity nor underestimate potential challenges that could undermine the election.


“The voters in Osun and Yiaga Africa expect that INEC and security agencies will deliver credible, peaceful and conclusive elections bereft of challenges of election logistics, technological failures, inconsistent application of electoral laws and guidelines, electoral violence and vote-buying,” Nwagwu concluded.

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