The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Kwara State has rejected the result of the bye-election conducted in Ekiti/Irepodun/Isin/Oke-Ero federal constituency where the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Raheem Tunji Olawuyi, was declared winner.
The party said that the election was not free and fair as claimed, alleging that its supporters were harassed and intimidated.
It said that the result does not reflect the will of the electorate in the constituency.
However, the APC refuted the claim of harassment and intimidation made by the PDP, saying nowhere was any voter ill-treated.
Barshir Bolarin, the state chairman of the APC, who stated this during the celebration of victory by his party, at the residence of the state party leader, Lai Mohammed, the Minister of Information and Culture, in Oro town said security agents conducted themselves professionally in maintaining law and order.
The PDP described the election as a charade and direct assault on the nation’s democracy.
The state chairman of PDP, Kola Shittu, who addressed a press conference in Ilorin claimed that some of the concerns raised by the party prior to the conduct of the election, which included alleged importation of thugs and heavy deployment of security personnel manifested during the poll.
He alleged that the poll was characterised by ballot box snatching, widespread irregularities and illegal arrest of members of the PDP before and while the election was on going.
The chairman called for outright cancellation of the election, saying the exercise fell short of the expectations of the people of the constituency.
He said that the alleged brazen subversion of the will of the people, which the outcome of the election represented was an indication that the APC led Federal Government was not ready to deliver free, fair and credible elections in 2019.
“The PDP condemns in strong terms the conduct of the bye-election and also rejects its outcome, as it does not reflect the will of the people of Ekiti, Oke-Ero, Isin and Irepodun local government areas.
“The announcement of the candidate of the APC, Raheem Olawuyi Ajulo-Opin as the winner of the election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is a daylight robbery, subversion of the will of the people and direct assault on the nation’s democracy.
“Indeed, the election was a contest between the PDP and the security agents, as they both collaborated with the enemies of democracy, APC, to manipulate the electoral process and stole the mandate of the people”, Shittu said.