PDP members storm INEC office in Ogun, protest gov poll outcome
The opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), in Ogun State besieged the commission’s State headquarters, to protest against the results of last Saturday’s governorship election in the State.
Security operatives deployed for election duty at the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) office in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, on Tuesday, fired several gunshots into the air to chase away members of the PDP.
Led by the party’s governorship candidate, Hon. Ladi Adebutu, the PDP members in their hundreds, stormed the INEC office to submit a petition wherein they demanded for a re-run of the gubernatorial election at polling units where elections were cancelled.
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Armed with placards bearing different inscriptions such as: “INEC should save our democracy”, “INEC betrayed the people of Ogun”, “Electoral fraud will not stand”, “INEC should respect people’s wish”, “INEC should stop being biased” among others, the PDP protesters sang anti-INEC songs, demanding that the gubernatorial exercise should be declared as inconclusive.
The agitating protesters were, however, denied access into INEC premises by heavily armed security operatives which comprised military personnel, policemen and men of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC).
The operatives shot sporadically into the air to disperse the protesters, who were not willing to be intimidated by the gunshots.
Speaking with journalists at the entrance of INEC office, the party’s gubernatorial candidate, Adebutu, had insisted that they would not leave until officials of the electoral commission attend to them.
He explained that his party had submitted several protest letters to the commission demanding the review of the results of the Saturday’s election and organise re-run where elections were either cancelled or disrupted.
He said it was regrettable that security agencies were being used against the wish of the people, warning that the development could degenerate into another #EndSARS protest.
“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, 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 re-runs, Ogun State should be measured in the same vein.
“Adamawa has re-rerun, similarly, Kebbi has run-run, why is Ogun State being denied re-run? We are not particular about whatever interest is guiding this, we are only asking for our rights.
“We have submitted several letters protesting this decision and we are asking that these gentlemen allow us access to INEC to submit an additional letter, but unfortunately we don’t understand what is happening, rather than allow us access, they are shooting sporadically into the air in the hope of scaring us away and we are not going to be scared because this is our fundamental human right. Please, beg them, we don’t want another #EndEARS, we don’t want another bloodshed in Ogun State, please beg them for us. It is our right that we should protest and exercise our right.
“We are entitled to re-run by all the rules that govern this election, we must exercise and protest to INEC that Ogun State deserves run-off, allow us admittance to see the authorities concern,” Adebutu told journalists.