The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has released a statement concerning the Osun governorship elections which took place as planned on 22 September, 2018.
Excerpts from the statement:
“The Osun State Governorship Election took place as planned on 22. September, 2018.
As widely testified by Independent Observers and many candidates. the election proceeded smoothly.
Election materials arrived on time, voters were very orderly and polling units opened at the designated time of 8:00am. In fact, most of the reports received by the Commission indicate that about 98% of the 3,010 Polling Units opened on time which surpassed the situation in all previous elections organized by the Commission.
“Clearly, this has been one of the most keenly contested elections in Nigeria in recent times.
We congratulate the Osun State voters for their keen interest in the polls, as shown in the large turnout, their orderliness and their respect for the rules governing the process.
We also thank all stakeholders, including the political parties and candidate, election observers. security agencies. traditional rulers. for their unprecedented cooperation before, during and since the election.
“Notwithstanding the successful conduct of the elections.
The Returning Officer, Professor Joseph Adeola Fuwape, Vice Chancellor of the Federal University of Technology, Akure has communicated to the Commission his inability to make a return in accordance with the legal framework and INEC Guidelines. This is as a result of areas where results were cancelled there was no voting or there were disruptions.
Based on the results collated by the Returning Officer, the margin between the two leading candidates is 353 which is lower than the number of registered voters in the affected areas.
Extant law and INEC Guidelines and Regulations provide that where such a situation occurs, a declaration may not be made.
In the light of the foregoing, the Commission met and decided that it will remobilize and return to the affected polling units on Thursday, 27′ September, 2018 to Rerun the elections, conclude collation and make a Return.
We appeal to all stakeholders and particularly the people of Osun State to continue with the maturity and peaceful manner they have so far approached the elections. The Commission wishes to reiterate its pledge that it is only the votes of the electorate in Osun State that will determine who becomes the next Governor of their State.
The statement was signed by Prince Monday Adedeji Soyebi, the National Commissioner Chairman, formation & Voter Education Committee.