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‘Technicalities Didn’t Allow INEC Cancel Osun Rerun’



The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) would have cancelled the rerun governorship election held in Osun state on September 27 but for some technical reasons, a highly placed source has said. LEADERSHIP gathered that the rerun polls would have been cancelled due to violence that greeted parts of the state on the day of the rerun, but the violence excluded voting areas. The source said the perpetrators of the violence are political thugs and some security agencies, but the perpetrators of violence carefully studied electoral laws very well as the violence did not disrupt voting in the state.

“Yes, INEC got reports of violence and voter intimidation during the primaries. There was a soul searching inside the commission. Some stakeholders were of the view that the election should be cancelled because of the reports of violence and voters intimidation during the rerun. But the commission was constrained when the checks were made.
“First, it was discovered that many of the reports emanated from the traditional and social media. The commission then decided to check with its men on the field and it was discovered that those who perpetrated the violence ensured that the polling stations were left out of the crisis.
“When calls were put through the polling centers in the affected seven units, it was discovered that it was peaceful and none of the officers was affected. It therefore became difficult for INEC to announce a cancelation on the basis of violence and intimidation,” the source said.

According to him, if the reports had indicated that INEC officials and polling stations were affected, the commission would have had no choice than to cancel the rerun.
The highly placed source said that another rerun could still have been held because time was still on the side of the commission.
He added that those who perpetrated the violence ensure that they read the dictates of the electoral law carefully.
“Right inside the voting areas, there was peace and it looked as if everything was going smoothly but outside in the villages, there was shooting and thugs were allowed the field day. Even in some places, the security agencies blocked those who refused to support a particular party and those who refused to collect money for vote buying.
“What saved the day was the fact that the violence took place outside the polling stations,” the source added.