Osun Rerun: Thugs Take Over Polling Units As Journalists, Observers Are Restricted

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    While journalists and observers are being barred from polling units where agents of the All Progressives Congress (APC) were alleged to be doling out cash to voters, persons suspected to be thugs of the party were having a field day in Osun State.
    Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate, Ademola Adeleke and APC’s Gboyega Oyetola, are battling for the deciding votes to make the election conclusive this Thursday.

    The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had declared the election inconclusive, since the narrow difference of 353 votes did not supersede the 3,498 cancelled votes seven affected polling units.

    Adeleke of the PDP scored 254,698, Oyetola of the APC polled 254,345 while the affected polling units where supplementary elections were conducted include Ife North, Ward 10, PU2, Ife South, Olode Ward 07, PU12, Adereti Village, Ife South Osi Ward 8 PU10, Aluti Erin Primary School, Albert village, Orolu Ward 08 PU001, Kajola village, Orolu Ward 08 PU004 Idi Iya village, Orolu Ward 09 PU 003 Gbogbo Primary School Adeleke, Osogbo Ataoja Ward 05 PU 017 Adewale Street.

    As early as 8:42am, alleged  illegal activities of vote buying were being reported at Ife-South, Olode Ward 07, PU12 with some individuals said to have made attempt to vote with a Permanent Voters’ Card (PVC) of another PU at another where they were not registered; security operatives however did attend to these situations.

    Meanwhile the Spokesman of the Police in the state, Folasade Odoro says their men on Stop and Search duties at Orolu; intercepted vehicles with sixteen persons on board in possession of customized INEC tags, face caps and jackets with the inscription of “INEC Osun 2018 Election Observer” and PDP membership cards.

    The Police while debunking news of the arrest of some INEC observers said that the suspects, were using the items to have easy access to restricted areas meant for personnel with due accreditation.

    The suspects include Moshood Adejare, PDP, House of Representatives aspirant in Orolu Federal Constituency, Oyelayo Dayo, Olaoye Asimi all members of the PDP, Orolu LGA and Raimi Taofeeq, secretary, PDP Orolu LGA.

    Others are Gbenga Olapade, Charles Amibiogoiu, Ayomide Ayansola, Kayode Dada, Daramola Segun, Tunji Akinroyinmi, Kunle Adedeji, Habeeb Bahiru, Yisa Sodiq, Adeolu Bamijoko, Oladipo Samson and Adeolu Bamidele.

    Journalists and election observers like Rukayat Ahmodu of the CLEEN Foundation were also barred from the polling units Observers restricted from gaining access to polling units in Orolu LGA by thugs and even security operatives while vote buying held sway.

    Some journalists reporting for Premium Times and TheCable were briefly arrested and their gadgets confiscated before they were eventually released, and told with strong instructions not to go near polling units.

    Some of the thugs alleged to have been working for the ruling APC denied access to anyone from the opposition attempting to come near the polling unit, as PDP supporter was reportedly denied entrance to PU1 in Ward 8, Orolu LGA when he wanted to cast his vote.

    Premium Times reports that the business of vote buying went on unabated even with the presence of security operatives at the Polling Units, as observed in Ifon Osun, persons believed to be agents of the APC brazenly doled out N20,000 each to voters who were willing to surrender their voters’ cards.

    The PDP has however confirmed that an Osun State High Court has ordered the immediate release of its chieftain, Alhaji Fatai Oyedele (Diekola) who was arrested by the Police over allegations of vote buying.

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