Civil Societies condemn Osun APC primary election –

Civil Societies condemn Osun APC primary election – The Sun Nigeria

From Bamigbola Gbolagunte, Osogbo

The Coalition Of Civil Societies of Nigeria which observed the last Saturday’s governorship primary election of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Osun State has condemned the exercise, describing it as a mockery of democracy.

The group said the APC primary election fell short of acceptable international standards.

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The leader of the team, Patrick Usman of the Centre for Development of Democracy and Good Governance in Nigeria, said the election was biased and therefore recommended that the national secretariat of the party should investigate the irregularities reported in the election.

According to him, the APC primary was grossly marred by violence, issues of electoral irregularities, lack of sensitive materials like result sheets, operational and logistical challenges, security issues among others.

Some of the identified irregularities, according to the Usman are lack of accreditation in the wards where they observed the election, non-availability of result sheet, disenfranchisement of voters, among others.

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He said “in the majority of the wards where we visited in the affected local areas, there was no accreditation. In a few places where accreditation was held, it was a shambolic show, filled with pretence.

“Our team observed and note that there was generally non-availability of result sheets at the wards where we observed the election. In some cases, ordinary A4 papers and the official letterhead of the party were used instead.

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“We don’t know who is who, but there are complaints from party members that officials who are appointed by the Governor (who is also an aspirant in the election) were used as Returning Officers instead of the officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). There was no any INEC official in all the wards.

“Violence was recorded in some voting centres in some of the wards. In Osogbo, Boripe, Ede, Ilesa East and Oriade LGs, thugs were stationed at every ward and electorates were chased away from the voting centres.

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“Of note is disruptions of election in Ward 1 (Dispensary, Erin-Oke), 7 (Town Hall, Ikeji-Arakeji) and 9 (Afinbiokin Hall, Ipetu-Ijesa) of Oriade Local Government Area, Ward 7, Ikeji-Owena and Ward 9, Ipetu-Ijesa. There were several gunshots at Ward 7 (St. Johns Pry Sch, Loro/Roye), Ilesa, Ilesa East Local Government Area.

“At Ward 6, Sabo Agbongbe, Ede, a former Chairman of Ede North Local Council Development Area, Com. Mukaila Uthman was shot by armed thugs during the primary election. The election could not hold in Gidigbo Ward 2, Post Office Area, Iwo, Iwo local area because of violence too.

“The election fell short of acceptable international standard as it was grossly marred by violence, issues of electoral irregularities, lack of sensitive materials like result sheet, operational and logistical challenges, security issues among others.

“Party primaries are to be free, fair and credible as it is the basis for good governance. The election is a mockery of democracy and suppression of peoples will. The primary election cannot stand the scrutiny of parameters for a free and fair election,” he added.

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