OrderPaperToday– The President of the Senate and Chairman of the PDP Campaign Council on Osun State Governorship election, Bukola Saraki, has described the recently conducted supplementary election in Osun State as “an embarrassment” to the country’s democracy.

In a statement released by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu, Saraki claimed that the election was characterised by widespread voter intimidation, violence, and harassment by hoodlums and compromised security agents.

“Like I said a few days ago, this needless re-run election was only designed as an avenue for the ruling party to perpetrate electoral fraud. The nature of these elections is an embarrassment to our democracy and casts an alarming pall on the institutions responsible for protecting the will of the Nigerian people as stated through their votes. That was why for more than ten hours the INEC could not collate and announce results in just seven polling units with just over 2000 votes.

“It is surprising that the election in which on Saturday, the two leading candidates were running neck to neck with the PDP candidate having an edge, four days later, as a result of manipulations and impossible conditions, the APC candidate is now being credited with all the votes and some paltry number of votes were being recorded for the PDP candidate,” he said.

Saraki urged Nigerians and the international community “to insist that the hands of the clock should not be turned back” in terms of the achievements recorded in the last general elections. He stressed that the election in Osun is a clear indication of how the 2019 elections will be conducted across the country.

According to him, “In the 2015 elections, Nigeria witnessed several gains in its electoral process. The process was transparent and people’s votes counted. These gains made it possible for the then opposition party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) to win at the centre and in many states of the nation. That election highlighted a fine moment in Nigeria’s democracy.

“It is disheartening that the major beneficiaries of those credible processes are now the ones subverting the basic principles of our democracy in every way possible. It is appalling that these people are willing to destroy our institutions in their quest to circumvent the desires of the people.”

Furthermore, the President of the Senate called on PDP supporters to remain calm, revealing that the Party would challenge APC’s victory, adding that mandate of the ruling party will not stand the test of time.

“I would like to reassure members and supporters of our party, the PDP candidate, Senator Adeleke and the entire good people of Osun State that light shall always overcome darkness. We have come this far after several months of dedication and hard work. I ask that we remain of good cheer, steadfast and committed to the cause. Victory, no matter how delayed, will not be denied,” he concluded.

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Damilola is a multiple award-winning Writer, Researcher, and Community/Sustainable Development Practitioner. His interests and experience span across media, academics, human capital development, and strategic planning. Damilola is the first Nigerian in history to win the blog4dev writing contest organised by the World Bank. Also, his writing on violent extremism and sustainable peace in Nigeria won a PeaceWriteNow prize, presented by the Embassy of Ireland in June, 2018. His works have been published in Nigeria and the United States of America, in English and in French. Damilola has also attended important meetings within and outside the African continent including the 2019 Spring Meetings of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund in Washington D.C, USA. He was also a special guest on a panel discussion titled “How creative industry can help to stem fragility,” which was held at the headquarters of the World Bank in Washington, D.C, USA. Furthermore, Damilola was selected as a Champion of Advocacy against extreme poverty and preventable diseases by ONE Campaign in May, 2019. An alumnus of the prestigious Lagos Business School and Federal University of Technology Akure, Damilola Adeniran represents Nigeria in the Youth Transforming Africa Program.

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