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Osun 2018: INEC goofed – Saraki

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The Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, has said that INEC was wrong to have declared the Gubernatorial Election in Osun State inconclusive because some results were cancelled. 

The Senate President said this today on his verified Twitter handle, @bukolasaraki“In my layman’s opinion, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) was wrong in declaring the Osun Gubernatorial election as inconclusive because the votes in certain polling units were cancelled.”

The Senate President says that having conducted elections in those Polling Units and cancelled it, it means that those Polling Units have been excluded from the polls, and only the court can reverse INEC cancellation decision.

Hear him: “The decision of INEC to cancel the election in those areas after voting had taken place, means that INEC had already excluded the votes in these areas from the election process and therefore those units should have no place in the overall results.

My opinion would have been different if the election in the affected units did not take place at all, may be as a result of malfunctioning of the card readers or unavailability of the electoral materials. However, because the voting took place and was cancelled, only the courts can reverse the initial decision by INEC to cancel the votes in these areas.”

Saraki advised the PDP to seek further legal clarifications on the decision of INEC, wondering if INEC would have taken the same decision  if it were the All Progressive Congress (APC) that was taking the lead in the elections.

“That is why I call on our party and its candidate to seek further legal interpretation on this decision by the electoral body. One cannot but wonder whether if places were reversed, and the candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), was the one leading in the election, if INEC would have taken the same decision that it has taken now.”

Saraki advised INEC to display exceptional attributes to prove to the world that Nigeria electoral system has come of age and that her democracy is mature, saying that the Osun Gubernatorial Election is not about Osun State alone but Nigeria as a whole: “Our national interest is at stake. The integrity of our electoral system is at stake. The reputation of the electoral body is at stake. The future of our democracy is on the line”, Saraki writes.

Saraki charged INEC to know that the way the stalemate in Osun over the Gubernatorial Election was handled would go a long way to determine how the world views our political processes.

“The way INEC conclusively handles the Osun election will determine the global expectations of our political processes. It should therefore ensure that the wish of the Osun State electorate eventually prevails”, Saraki opined.

 Be Focus, Peaceful, Calm and Resilient

In the meantime, the Senate President has commended Party supporters  and the general public in Osun State for the way they conducted themselves throughout the period of the election. He encouraged them to stay focus as INEC decision is only a delay in the victory of Senator Ademola Adeleke.

In the same vein, Saraki commended other contestants in the election “for their gallant efforts. This is because it is clear they are all working for the same objective from different perspectives and platforms to ensure that the era of mis-governance, pain, injustice and insensitivity to the plight of the common people comes to an end.”

The Senate President concluded his message by saying that “we remain undeterred, and we all remain determined to ensure that Senator Ademola Adeleke becomes the next Governor of Osun State.”

See the Full Text of Senator Saraki’ s Reaction to the INEC Declaration of Inconclusive Election in Osun State below

In my layman’s opinion, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) was wrong in declaring the Osun Gubernatorial election as inconclusive because the votes in certain polling units were cancelled.

The decision of INEC to cancel the election in those areas after voting had taken place, means that INEC had already excluded the votes in these areas from the election process and therefore those units should have no place in the overall results.

My opinion would have been different if the election in the affected units did not take place at all, may be as a result of malfunctioning of the card readers or unavailability of the electoral materials. However, because the voting took place and was cancelled, only the courts can reverse the initial decision by INEC to cancel the votes in these areas.

That is why I call on our party and its candidate to seek further legal interpretation on this decision by the electoral body. One cannot but wonder whether if places were reversed, and the candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), was the one leading in the election, if INEC would have taken the same decision that it has taken now.

At this point, it is necessary to also call on INEC to display courage, boldness, independence, neutrality and patriotism so as to send signals to the world at large that the Nigerian electoral system has come of age and that our democracy has matured. The electoral body needs to re-assure all and sundry that the 2019 election and other elections will be free of manipulations and undue interference.

INEC should note that the Osun gubernatorial election is not only about one state. It is about our country and the entire world is watching. Our national interest is at stake. The integrity of our electoral system is at stake. The reputation of the electoral body is at stake. The future of our democracy is on the line. The way INEC conclusively handles the Osun election will determine the global expectations of our political processes. It should therefore ensure that the wish of the Osun State electorate eventually prevails.

I praise the dedication and hard work of PDP supporters and the candidate of the party, Senator Ademola Adeleke. They have remained steadfast, resilient, focused and determined.

Let me also commend all the other contestants in yesterday’s election for their gallant efforts. This is because it is clear they are all working for the same objective from different perspectives and platforms to ensure that the era of mis-governance, pain, injustice and insensitivity to the plight of the common people comes to an end. It is our hope that they will all co-operate with Senator Adeleke to ensure that Osun State witnesses a development-oriented era.

Let me remind our party supporters and the good people of Osun State that this INEC decision constitutes only a delay of the victory of Senator Ademola Adeleke and the PDP in the Osun Gubernatorial election — as our triumph will come either through the judiciary or further balloting.

I thank PDP supporters and the general public in Osun State and note that we got to this point after many months of hard work, determination and focus. We should not despair and not lose our focus and determination to ensure that the final results reflects the will of the Osun people.

Our party is ahead, despite the irregularities. Our people must remain resilient to see this through to the finish. Now is the time to re-strategize, reach out to all the other candidates and their supporters, build on our lead, and bring this election home.

Our supporters and the entire people of Osun State should remain calm and maintain peace as we move forward to see the successful completion of the electoral process.

Once again, I thank all supporters of the PDP and the people of Osun State who stayed up all night, both physically and on social media to monitor the numbers and protect our votes. We remain undeterred, and we all remain determined to ensure that Senator Ademola Adeleke becomes the next Governor of Osun State.

Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, CON
President of the Senate and Chairman, PDP Campaign Council on the Osun Gubernatorial Election.