Supporters of three major parties participating in tomorrow’s Osun State governorship election, were thrown into confusion following the rumour that they had formed an alliance.
Radio stations were broadcasting the denial of such an alliance by no fewer than three of the five prominent candidates.
The candidates are Iyiola Omisore of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), Moshood Adeoti of the African Democratic Party (ADP) and Fatai Akinbade of the African Democratic Congress (ADC).
At a briefing in Osogbo, the state capital, Omisore, who spoke for the three candidates, said Adeoti and Akinbade did not step down for him, adding that what they had was an alliance for a credible election.
He accused the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) of intimidating would-be voters at rallies.
The APC denied the allegation.
Its spokesman Kunle Oyatomi described the “gang-up” of opposition parties as a “house of commotion”.
Speaking on the telephone last night, Oyatomi said: “We in the APC do not see any threat to whatever the opposition or a coalition of them is doing.
“We are bigger than all of them put together. We will win the election because we have a lot to show as achievements.
“We defeated them in 2014 when the PDP in this state was formidable. Now they are split into pieces. They will lose. They are jittery and are pretenders.
“They are people who lack vision and mission. That is why they have reduced the campaign to only payment of salaries.”
Omisore said: “APC has been boasting that they will rig election. So, these three parties, in spite of the differences in their names and candidates, still believe that the election must be credible. That’s why we signed the protocol. It is incumbent on these other parties, being leading opposition parties in the state, to publicly ask the people of Osun State to be vigilant as they cast their votes to prevent malpractices. We just want sincerity, credibility and fairness at the poll.”
Omisore said each of the three parties would run its election by itself, but that there was need to encourage voters across the state not to be intimidated in any way because they are committed to free and fair election tomorrow.
But when asked to provide evidence of the alleged intimidation by the governing party, Omisore said the declarations made by the APC at its rallies were pure intimidation which could discourage the masses from coming out to cast their votes. “We watched it on Channels Television as they said those things. So, it is public knowledge, nothing that requires any documentary evidence,” he said.
While denying withdrawing from the election, Adeoti, in a statement by his spokesman, Kayode Agbaje, said he had no discussion with any other candidate about standing down, affirming that he remained a candidate in the election.
“The attention of the Moshood Adeoti Campaign Organisation (MACO) has been drawn to a rumour currently gaining ground in Osun State that our principal and governorship candidate of the Action Democratic Party (ADP), Alhaji Moshood Adeoti, has withdrawn his participation from the race in favour of Senator Iyiola Omisore, the candidates of the Social Democratic Party (SDP).
“We wish to reiterate that at no time was our canadidate contacted for such and that the ADP and Alhaji Adeoti harbour no such plans. We still stand resolutely behind our resolve to contest and by God’s grace win the election.”
Akin bade also debunked the insinuations that he had stepped down for Omisore. His Media Officer said: “Akinbade is in the race for good. The people of Osun are itching to have him as their next governor. This they hope to translate come Saturday, September 22, through their worthy votes.”
According to Akinbade, the rumour is malicious and insulting to the ADC political family. “Our main focus is the execution of the Sept. 22, 2018 election to success. The people of Osun State are rooting for the victory of Alhaji Fatai Akinbade and this will be proved by their massive votes on Saturday. You are requested to remain resolute and cast your votes for the ADC on Saturday.”
The statement condemned what it described as “dirty” and “cheap” politics embarked upon by those”afraid of their own political shadow.”