Anger spreads over guber polls

  • Wednesday, April 18, 2007 - By TONY OSAUZO, Benin, HAMMED BODUNRIN, Oshogbo, TUNDE RAHEEM, Akure, NWAGBO NNYELIKE, Ilorin and MATTHEW DIKE, Ado-Ekiti
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Ripples of disputation and violence that greeted last Saturday governorship and State House of Assembly elections continued to reverberate across the federation with 5,000 women marching on major Ado-Ekiti streets to protest the result of the polls which gave victory to Mr Segun Oni, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate.

The protesters, who wore their dresses on the wrong side to connote abnormality, alleged that the election was won by Action Congress (AC) candidate, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, insisting that he was robbed of victory.

The development is coming as fresh break-out of violence in Osun and Kwara States led to the death of two persons including a soldier and destruction of property, among them eight vehicles.

This is as youths and the campaign organisation of AC’s governorship candidate in Edo, Adams Oshiomhole, issued the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) a 48-hour ultimatum to declare the "authentic result" of the Saturday election n the state or face mass protest.

In Osun, the police declared 23 AC members wanted, even as uneasy calm prevailed in Ondo State, following the orgy of violence and arson that rocked the state since Sunday in the aftermath of the elections.

Similar trends were reported in Taraba and Katsina, where three persons were killed and 12 public and private buildings destroyed.
The Adamawa State police, however, confirmed the arrest of 17 persons for various electoral offences, with 24 nabbed in Imo.

The Ekiti women, led by a two-time former Commissioner in the old Ondo and Ekiti states, Ronke Okunsanya, insisted that the people’s mandate was upturned by INEC and the powers-that-be and that Dr Fayemi should either be given his certificate as the deserved winner or the result of the election nullified.

Most of the women with green leaves in hand were shedding tears as they marched through some major roads in the state capital. "We're representing all the women in Ekiti State. We have the fact that Dr Kayode Fayemi won the election. We want the election cancelled in Ekiti State," Okunsanya said.
In another development, Ayo Akinyemi, the Chief Press Secretary to the state Administrator, Brig. Gen. Adetunji Olurin (retd) denied insinuations that Olurin had hand in the alleged rigging.

Akinyemi wondered why Ekiti people wanted to soil the name of the Administrator who put up his best to ensure that peace returned to the troubled state.

He told Daily Sun: "If this is how they want to thank the Administrator for the good work he had been doing in Ekiti State since the past six months, so be it. But posterity shall judge Ekiti in future.

The Administrator, everybody knows, is an experienced man who had led in peace. If any party is aggrieved, they know what to do. They should go to the Election Tribunal and sort themselves out instead of damaging the image of the Administrator."

Violence leading to the damage of about eight vehicles broke out in Idi-Ape area of Ilorin. Though no life was lost, five persons were arrested for the disturbance.

Daily Sun learnt that the youths of Idi-Ape were contesting the result of the just concluded election, with the complaint that in Idi-Ape, they voted massively for Democratic Peoples Party (DPP), but PDP was declared winner in the area. The Police Public Relations Officers Gideon Markus (DSP) who confirmed the incident said that the situation had been brought under control.

Edo Youth for True Democracy and members of the Special Duties Committee of Oshiomhole Campaign Organization issued the 48-hour ultimatum Tuesday at a press conference in Benin.
Chief Eruaga Sylvanus – Peters who spoke for the two groups said Edo people in exercising their democratic rights registered to vote and on election day chose to vote overwhelmingly for Comrade Adams Oshiomhole.

"We shall run out of patience after 48hours and shall be ready to die from their guns. By Thursday they will have many of us to kill", Chief Eruaga said, adding that the youths of Edo State shall all be in the streets to face the consequences of what comes out.

With the death of two more persons including a soldier, police in Osun state have declared 23 chiftains of the wanted. Among those wanted by the police are the party’s chairman, Alhaji Moshood Adeoti, the secretary, Prince Gboyega Famodun and a leader of the party, Senator Bayo Salami.

However, in a swift reaction, the AC governorship candidate, Rauf Aregbesola condemned the police action querrying what the offence of his men were other than offering to participate in the democratic exercise.

He said the attempt was to "behead" the party in the state so that those declared wanted would not be able to prepare and partake in the Saturday exercise.
The PDP in Osun State also raised alarm on alleged plans by the AC to disrupt the next presidential and national assembly election appealing to the police to protect the voters.

Addressing the press in Osogbo, chairman of the party's campaign committee in the state Chief Ebenezer Babatope lamented that despite the fore information given to the area commander four hours before the Ilesa mayhem started, nothing was done to save the situation.

Meanwhile, tension continue to heighten in Ondo State on Tuesday following the violence that erupted in some part of the state before and after the declaration of Governor Olusegun Agagu as the winner in the Saturday election.
Already many PDP leaders in the state are now seeking refuge at Government House for fear of molestation and attack by the irate protesters.

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