A call has gone out for the March 18, 2023, gubernatorial election in Ogun State to be rerun.
The Labour Party (LP) in Ogun State which made the call on Friday also rejected the victory of the governor-elect, Dapo Abiodun.
The party, in a statement, by its Caretaker Committee, Lookman Abiodun, urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) not to issue a Certificate of Return to Abiodun, the declared winner of the recent Governorship election in the state.
The Party Chairman also described the election as the climax of a lingering compromise of electoral integrity in the state, capable of creating a political monopoly and threatening sustainable democracy.
The Labour Party called on the governor to stop addressing Abayomi Arabambi and Michael Ashade as the National Publicity Secretary and Ogun State chairman of the LP as they both remain suspended from the party.
They added that Lookman Abiodun Jagun remained the chairman of the party in the state.
“The Party Chairman, Engr Lookman Jagun, in a statement released in Abeokuta today, after its executive meeting, revealed that the election in which Dapo Abiodun was declared as the winner was characterised by evidential cases of disruption of voting by APC thugs, ballot box snatching by APC thugs, burning of ballot papers by armed APC thugs in opposition strongholds and manipulating the voting and collation process as well as obtaining a premature declaration that is clearly against the prescribed electoral rules.
“The statement added that the Labour Party as a coalition partner with the PDP in the gubernatorial election, totally condemns the declaration of Abiodun as the winner of the election.
"The statement said at best, the election should have been declared as inconclusive and a rerun conducted in areas where voting was disrupted by APC thugs.”
The party, therefore, called for a rerun in areas where voting was disrupted by APC thugs, arguing that this was the only way that the outcome of the election would be a true reflection of the wishes of the electorates.
“Similarly, the gubernatorial candidate of the Labour Party Kehinde Sogunle, who aligned with the candidate of the PDP, Ladi Adebutu, also asserts that despite all the anomalies that characterised the election and the padding of the results in favour of Dapo Abiodun, the APC candidate was only able to defeat the PDP candidate Ladi Adebutu with less than 14,000 votes, while the cancelled votes in the election was 33,000 votes.
“In the light of these anomalies, Kehinde Sogunle calls on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to heed the call of the good people of Ogun state and reverse its pronouncement of Dapo Abiodun as the winner of the election and conduct a rerun election, in accordance with the dictates of the law, in all the polling units where voters where disenfranchised.
“According to him, that is the only way that the outcome of the election will be a true reflection of the wishes of the generality of the electorates in Ogun state.
"Awarding Dapo Abiodun a Certificate of Return with the glaring fraud that characterised the election will amount to a rape of Democracy.
“The Labour Party is also not unmindful of the dastardly role of the Ogun state government in creating discord, acrimony and disunity within the Labour Party and its clandestine role in thwarting the nomination and listing of the candidates of the Labour Party to contest elective offices in the last election in Ogun state.
“In furtherance of its sinister objective, the Ogun state government exploited the judicial process by instituting various spurious court proceedings to frustrate and deny the candidature of some prospective candidates, and to delay the campaign activities of other political parties.
"The government has continued to encourage and finance suspended members of the Labour Party to parade themselves as the Executives of the party in Ogun state before the media.
“One of such instances is the shameful publication, in the media, of the picture of the governor in the midst of suspended members of the Labour Party parading themselves as the Executives of the Labour Party in Ogun state and giving the governor a phantom endorsement.
"One expects that a person who occupies the exalted position of the governor of a state would know that aiding and abetting impersonation is a criminal offence.
“For the umpteenth time, the Labour Party wishes to reiterate that the party has no faction in the state.
"There’s only one Labour party in Ogun state and the chairman of the party remains Engr Lookman Abiodun Jagun,” it noted.