The governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ogun State, Ladi Adebutu, on Tuesday led party members to the state office of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to protest the outcome of Saturday’s governorship election.
The protesters submitted a petition, demanding re-run elections at polling units where elections were cancelled on Saturday.
They chanted anti-INEC songs and carried placards with inscriptions such as ‘INEC should save our democracy’, ‘INEC betrayed the people of Ogun’, ‘Electoral fraud will not stand’ and ‘Ogun election was inconclusive, INEC correct yourself’, among others.
The state Returning Officer, Prof. Kayode Adebowale, had declared Governor Dapo Abiodun of the All Progressives Congress (APC) the winner of the election with 276,298 votes.
He defeated his closest rival, Adebutu, who polled 262,383 votes.
But, the protesters were denied access to the INEC office by armed security operatives, comprised of the military, police and men of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC) who shot into the air.
Addressing journalists at the entrance of the INEC office, Adebutu said they would not leave until officials of the electoral commission attended to them.
He said the party had submitted several protest letters to the commission, demanding a review of the results of Saturday’s election and re-run where elections were either cancelled or disrupted.
He said it was regrettable that security agents were used against the wishes of the people, warning that the development could degenerate into another #EndSARS protest.
Adebutu said, “We are here to protest, but unfortunately we have been confronted by the Nigerian Army, shooting sporadically into the air, in the hope that they will disperse us, but we are resolute, and we are going to stay here until we are addressed by officials of INEC.
“Our contention is that the measures by which other states have been treated and they are allowed to have venoms, Ogun State should be measured in the same vein.
“Adamawa has rerun, similarly, Kebbi has rerun, why is Ogun State being denied rerun? We are not particular about whatever interest is guiding this, we are only asking for our rights.”