A chieftain of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Ebenezer Babatope, says he is confident that the party will ultimately win the governorship re-run election holding on Thursday in Osun.
Babatope, a former Minister of Transport, made the assertion in a telephone interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday.
NAN reports that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had fixed Thursday for the re-run election after declaring the main election on Saturday inconclusive.
Justifying the declaration, INEC said the vote margin of the two leading candidates, PDP’s Sen. Ademola Adeleke (254,698) and Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola of the All Progressives Congress (254,345) was less than the 3,498 cancelled votes.
The INEC Returning Officer, Prof Joseph Fuwape, said the votes were cancelled in Ife North, Ife South, Osogbo and Orolu council areas owing to irregularities, ballot box snatching and malfunctioning of the card reader.
Fuwape, who is the Vice-Chancellor, Federal University of Technology, Akure, added that the 2010 Electoral Act (as amended) supported a re-run in seven polling units in the affected areas on the basis of cancellation votes and votes margin.
Babatope said he was sure that the people would vote for Adeleke in the re-run just as they voted massively for the PDP on Saturday.
“I have no doubt that our great party, the PDP, will win the re-run election on Thursday.
“You see, what happened on Saturday clearly means the people are tired of the APC government and they have great confidence in our party to turn things around.
“And because the people want change, they will seal our victory by voting for us in the re-run.
“We have done what have to do as a party. We have concluded all plans to ensure victory. I am confident our people will vote for us. I am confident PDP will win the re-run,” he said.
Babatope said that no alliance or political gang-up would stop the people in the affected areas from voting Adeleke.
He, however, said it was imperative for INEC to ensure that the conduct of the election was credible and free of manipulation.
The former minister said any outcome that did not reflect the will of the people would be rejected by the PDP.