People’s Democratic Party’s (PDP) candidate in the February 23 House of Representatives election in Idanre/Ifedore Federal Constituency of Ondo State, Kayode Akinmade, has said despite the alleged irregularities and manipulations that trailed the election, aggrieved supporters, party faithful and members of the community should accept the result in good faith.
Akinmade, a two-time commissioner for information in the state, gave the charge in a statement in Akure, the state capital, yesterday.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had announced the candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), Tajudeen Adefisoye, as winner of the election, even when the returning officers declared it inconclusive.
Akinmade said even though the outcome was not what the people desired, the exercise offered a rare insight into elections and electioneering processes in the country, vis-a-vis its inherent flaws, adding that the polls in Idanre/Ifedore were example of all that is wrong with Nigeria’s democracy.
“There were evidence of irregularities, including multiple voting, ballot box snatching, burning of ballot papers and other shameful electoral crimes.
“We had a situation where thugs mounted road blocks preventing INEC officials from getting to voting centres, we witnessed political thugs thumb-printing ballot papers and the brazen use of monetary inducement to compromise voters and electoral officials right at polling booths.
“All these were reported to the INEC, but the officials in Idanre chose to turn a blind eye.
“Our party identified polling units where rerun ought to have been ordered by INEC in consonance with the provisions of the Electoral Act. Significantly, over 6,000 registered voters were disenfranchised, first by thugs and now by INEC in the affected areas in Idanre local government area alone.”