Cancel Ogun gov’ship poll, observers tell INEC

Some accredited observers have called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to cancel the March 18 governorship election in Ogun State and conduct a fresh one.

The observers cited over voting, vote-buying, BVAS failure and voter suppression during the election.

INEC had on Sunday declared Governor Dapo Abiodun of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the winner of the election, having polled a total of 276,298 votes, while Ladi Adebutu of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) scored 262,383 votes.

The governorship candidate of the African Democratic Congress (ADC), Biyi Otegbeye, came a distant third with 94,754 votes.

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However, there have been mixed reactions over the results of the election with many opposition parties alleging compromise on the part of the electoral body.

Speaking at a press conference in Abeokuta, the state capital, the spokesman for the observers, Ms Abiola Abimbola, faulted the exercise, saying it fell short of the voters’ expectations.

She pointed out that logistical challenges and multiple incidents of political violence overshadowed the electoral process and impeded a substantial number of voters from participating in the election.

Abimbola also alleged that the INEC “deliberately denied some political parties’ submission of candidates, while some parties’ logos were missing on the ballot paper.”

She said in order to save the country’s democracy from collapsing, the elections must not be accepted by Nigerians.

She said, “In conclusion, we must be aware that, no matter the situation in our country, all leaders must consider the stability and security of the country as paramount. Our country is bigger than any individual and is certainly more important than any vested interest.

“To save our democracy and our country, the present election results must not be accepted by Nigerians and by all friends of Nigeria. We are therefore calling for the cancellation of the 2023 governorship election in Ogun State, New election should be conducted as soon as possible.”

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