Police have assured that necessary measures have been put in place to ensure that there is no breakdown of law and order during the re-run election.
Ismail Omipidan and Bamigbola Gbolagunte, Osogbo
Several factors will decide today’s governorship re-run in seven polling units, across four local governments in Osun State.
READ ALSO: Tension in Osun over guber re-run
Some of the factors include religion, money power and the disposition of angry workers.
Zoning and voter apathy may not influence today’s poll as the two major political parties, the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) roll out their arsenal for a final showdown in a battle for the soul of the state, today.
The battleground for votes are Ife North, Ife South, Orolu and Osogbo.
The outcome will determine the eventual winner.
Although former deputy governor of the state and candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), Senator Iyiola Omisore, is supporting the All Progressives Congress (APC) in today’s re-run, National Chairman of his party, Chief Olu Falae, has washed his hands off the deal.
Falae said late last night that Omisore struck the deal all by himself and for himself.
Regardless, security operatives, including soldiers, police and officers of the Department of State Services (DSS) have also been deployed to the state; to avoid breakdown of law and order.
It was gathered that some politicians of the two major political parties have relocated to communities where the election will hold, even as they have allegedly begun gradual inducement of voters in the area.
Police Armoured Vehicles and Hilux vans, belonging to the DSS paraded the streets of Osogbo and Ile-Ife, yesterday. Police helicopters also hovered in Osogbo and some other towns where the election will hold including Ifon, Ifetedo and Ipetumodu.
Also, primary and secondary schools in the communities where the election will hold closed early yesterday, just as many shops were not opened for fear of attack.
Police have, however, assured that necessary measures have been put in place to ensure that there is no breakdown of law and order during the re-run election.
Police Public Relations Officer for the state Command, Mrs. Folasade Odoro, said the police in collaboration with other security agencies are ready to ensure a peaceful conduct of the re-run election.
She also disclosed that the PDP leader in Osogbo, who was arrested two days ago, Alhaji Fatai Diekola, has given useful information that could help in their investigation of alleged buying of PVCs.
Forty-eight political parties contested the governorship election last Saturday.
But, by Sunday, PDP candidate, Ademola Adeleke, polled 254,698 votes, winning 12 councils; while APC’s Gboyega Oyetola, who is a cousin to the National Leader of the party, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, came second with 254,345 votes. He won in 15 councils.
Omisore came third, with over 128,000 votes.
But, the Returning Officer for the election, Professor Joseph Fuwape, Vice Chancellor of the Federal University of Technology, Akure, said even though the PDP candidate led with a difference of 353 votes, it was not enough to declare him winner, going by INEC’s guidelines.
Feelers from Osogbo, however, indicate that promoters of the two parties are already offering as high as N50, 000. And, since the areas where the election will take place are limited, vote-buying is expected to take place. Money is, therefore, a strong factor in determining the outcome of today’s re-run election.
Like Omisore, the PDP running mate, Albert Adeogun, is from Ile Ife. He is also a serving member of the House of Representatives.
Religion is another factor that aided Omisore’s performance at the poll, last Saturday. With his support for the APC, Daily Sun gathered that the Christian community has formally withdrew their support from him and messages have gone round churches in that regard.
“We were asked to wake up between 12:00 a.m. and 1 :00 a.m. today; to pray for the right person to ascend the seat of power in the state.
“There was a formal meeting of the Christian body, yesterday, where we withdrew our support for Omisore. Even though Adeleke is a Muslim, we are now deploying support for him since our man is no longer in contention,” a Pastor disclosed.
It was gathered that Omisore’s decision to work for the APC followed series of discussion with leaders of the party including its national chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, Ekiti State governor-elect, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, Kano State Governor, Dr. Umar Ganduje, his Oyo and Ogun states counterparts, senators Abiola Ajimobi and Ibikunle Amosun, respectively, Jigawa’s Mohammed Badaru, Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yusuff Lasun and the Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed.
Omisore said the APC agreed to form a coalition government with the SDP, hence, his resolve to work with the party.
But, former Aviation minister, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, described Omisore’s decision as “shameful.
“It is sad that Omisore would seek to deny Ile-Ife the position of deputy governor.
“He told me he would stand firm two days ago and he told our leader and father, Baba Ayo Adebanjo the same thing last night…”