A group of protesters in Ogun State, led by the governorship candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Honourable Ladi Adebutu, besieged the office of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) today, over allegations of foul play in the declaration of a winner in the governorship election.
Irked by what they described as ‘a sham’, the protesters insisted that INEC completely disregarded the provisions of the Electoral Act which allows an election to be declared inconclusive when the margin between the top two contenders is less than the total number of cancelled votes.
Speaking to newsmen, one of the protesters, Stephen Sobowale, described the declaration of a winner in the election as ‘a hasty decision borne out of an attempt to truncate the will of the people.’
“I see this whole thing by INEC and the ruling party in the state as a sham. How can INEC go ahead to declare a winner in an election which had the margin between Dapo Abiodun and Ladi Adebutu put at 13,912 while the total number of cancelled votes is a whopping 33,750? Can’t you see that no winner has emerged yet? This is nothing but a provocation and should not be allowed to stand,” he said.
In his reaction, Adebutu expressed dissatisfaction on the outcome of the election, stressing that it was meant to be declared inconclusive and a rerun ordered.
“Please beg them (INEC) to do the right thing because we don’t want another EndSARS or bloodshed in Ogun. INEC has disregarded the rules that governs this election. We want the whole world to see how some people are attempting to cause a damage to our democracy. This is not what is obtainable in democracies all over the world,’ Adebutu said.
Recall that, earlier in the day, a non-governmental organisation, under the aegis of Vanguard for Democracy and Good Governance (VDGG), had alleged that INEC goofed in declaring a winner in the governorship election in Ogun State.
In a press statement made available to newsmen today, the group maintained that the Ogun State governor, Dapo Abiodun, ought not to have been declared a winner since the winning margin is only 13,912 while the total number of cancelled votes stands at 33,750.
The group had pointed out that a similar scenario played out in Adamawa and Kebbi states, necessitating an eventual declaration of the elections in the two states as inconclusive.
Recall that in the Ogun governorship election, the candidate of the People’s Democratic party (PDP), Ladi Adebutu, polled 262,383, while that of the All Progressive Congress (APC), Dapo Abiodun, polled 276,395.