Today, the Independent National Electoral Commission will conclude the Governorship Election it started on Saturday 22nd September, 2018 in Osun State, South West Nigeria. At the conclusion of the election on Saturday, a winner was not returned.
Be reminded that the Governorship election was declared inconclusive by INEC due to the fact that the total number of registered voters that were affected by cancellation of votes, non-voting, malfunctioning of card readers and disruptions in some parts of the State, were much higher than the difference of 353 between the two leading parties -All Progressive Party (APC) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
According to INEC, and in consonance with extant electoral laws of Nigeria, where such a scenario occurs, a winner cannot be returned. Supplementary elections are to be conducted in areas affected for a winner to eventually be returned. That is exactly what will happen today.
Only 3,498 votes are up for grabs in today’s supplementary elections. The total number of votes may even be less because it is not likely that all the registered 3,498 voters in the affected polling units would have collected their permanent voters cards, which is a requirement for voting.
The two leading political parties have engaged different strategies to woo voters on their side. One strategy both sides engaged in was to hobnob with the candidate of the Social Democratic Party, Senator Iyiola Omisore. The candidate of the Social Democratic Party suddenly got the “na dem dey rush us” treatment as he became the ‘new bride’ for both political parties -APC and PDP – each jostling to have the support of the Senator from Ile-Ife.
This is because, his political stronghold of Ife North and South may have a role to play in deciding the direction of the election, given the total number of registered voters – and by extension, the total number of votes – that can be garnered from the polling units in these areas.
And just yesterday, after series of political pilgrimage to the Senator by emissaries of both PDP and APC, Omisore eventually declared his support for the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC), for todays Gubernatorial supplementary elections in Osun State.
Various International observers have appealed to stakeholders to be peaceful and conduct themselves in orderly manner for the remainder of the Polls. Also, calls have been made to INEC and other stakeholders to allow the peoples votes to count in the supplementary elections that will ultimately determine the party that will be returned to rule for the next four years in Osun state.