Osun: Aregbesola boycotts election as state elects governor

… Oyetola, deputy, Adeleke win own polling units …Allegation of vote-buying rife …Exercise records massive voter turnout …EFCC nabs 3, combs Oyetola, Adeleke’s polling units

The political face off between the incumbent Governor of Osun State, Adegboyega Oyetola and his predecessor, Rauf Aregbesola, came to head Saturday as the latter boycotted the off-cycle gubernatorial election held in the state.

He however, delivered his Polling Unit 01, Ward 08, Ifofin in Ilesa East for the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

At the polling unit, the APC got 165 votes to defeat the closest rival, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), which scored 134 votes in the poll.

Signs of the soured relationship between the two politicians became obvious before the APC gubernatorial primary election held on February 20, 2022.

Aregbesola, who is the current minister of Interior, had supported Moshood Adeoti, a former secretary to the state government, against Oyetola, who was also his chief of staff when he served as governor of the state for eight years.

The frosty relationship has since affected the good rapport that Aregbesola had with Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the presidential candidate of the APC.

During the primary election, Aregbesola was said to have stayed away. The scenario repeated itself Saturday, when the minister decided to “hibernate” in Abuja.

Tinubu had described Oyetola’s victory at the primary election as “resounding,” and also as an affirmation of the widely-acknowledged sterling performance of the governor in his first term.

“All Progressives Congress members in Osun rose in their large numbers to exercise their democratic rights. They voted massively to give Governor Adegboyega Oyetola a clear mandate to contest for a second term in office.

“Their decision was expressed in very unambiguous and unmistaken terms. For this overwhelming victory in the APC primary election, I wholeheartedly congratulate and rejoice with him,” Tinubu had said.

He further said that Oyetola’s victory was also an expression of confidence the teeming party members in Osun had in his ability and capacity to propel the state to an even greater height in the second term.

At some point, Osun became divided along power blocs in the ruling party. There were reports of attack of supporters of some chieftains. The attrition war also led to the arrest of many youths suspected to have been sponsored by some politicians to settle some political scores.

Aregbesola was also absent at the mega rally for the re-election of Oyetola, held in Osogbo on Tuesday.

When contacted on phone on why the minister was not present in the state to participate in the voting process, Sola Fasure, his media aide, said, “Oga didn’t come home for the election.”

Fasure, however, refused to speak on why his boss refused to come home for the governorship election and ensure the re-election of his former Chief of Staff.

EFCC arrests party agent, 2 other vote buyers

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) arrested three suspected vote buyers, including one Ismail Abidogun, an APC agent, at the Polling Unit 02, Ward 02, Ababu, Isale-Osun in Osogbo, the Osun State capital.

Abidogun, believed to be working for the ruling APC and other vote buyers, Jimoh Ibrahim and Bashir Adeyemo were arrested by the operatives of EFCC while allegedly negotiating to buy votes from some electorates waiting to cast their votes.

Although unconfirmed reports indicated that both the ruling APC and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) involved in vote buying, the arrest of an APC Agent and his cohorts at the Polling Unit in Isale-Osun, confirmed the criminal act of vote buying in the governorship election held in Osun on Saturday.

EFCC officers also stormed Iragbiji, the hometown of the APC governorship candidate and incumbent governor of Osun State, Adegboyega Oyetola in search of vote buyers at the governor’s Polling unit 01, Ward 01, St. Peter’s Anglican Primary School in Boripe Local Government Area of the state.

Also, the anti-graft agency visited the polling unit of Ademola Adeleke, governorship candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) at polling unit 09, Ward 02, Abogunde/Sagbe in Ede North Local Government Area of the state to observe the voting process and sniff out tendencies of or anyone who may want to engage in vote buying at the polling unit.

Read also: Interactive: How Osun voted by candidate

Oyetola, deputy win own polling units

Governor Oyetola won his polling unit. The polling unit has 1,457 registered voters. The APC candidate polled 545 votes from his polling unit situated at ward 1, LA school, Popo, Iragbiji in Boripe Local Government Area.

His closest rival, Ademola Adeleke of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) had 69 votes. There were eight invalid votes recorded.

His Deputy, Benedict Alabi, also won his polling unit at Ward 06, Polling Unit 07, Baptist Day School, Ikire, in Irewole Local Government.

While the APC polled 206, PDP scored 184 in the contest, as five votes were declared void.

Alabi commended the level of consciousness and enthusiasm displayed by voters, adding that Nigeria was moving towards democratic advancement.

PDP’s Adeleke delivers own unit

Ademola Adeleke, the candidate of the PDP also won his polling unit.

In the result released by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) officials, Adeleke defeated Oyetola, to win polling unit 009, ward 02, Abogunde, Ede North LGA.

The PDP candidate polled 218 votes while Oyetola, the incumbent governor, secured 23 votes.