The Osun State All Progressives Congress Presidential Campaign Council Youths and Students Mobilisation Directorate has condemned Saturday’s violent protest by members of the Peoples Democratic Party in the state.
PDP members went on rampage on Saturday to protest Friday’s nullification of Governor Ademola Adeleke’s election.
The protest in Osogbo, the state capital, followed the ruling of the Osun State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal.
The Tribunal had ruled that Alhaji Adegboyega Oyetola of the APC was the winner of the election held on July 16, 2022.
In a statement issued in Osogbo on Sunday, the APC Youths Directorate condemned the various attacks on the people by the protesting PDP members.
The statement was signed jointly by Dayo Fasola, Chairman, Media Committee of the PCC; David Asaolu, PCC Youth Arm Chairman; Demola Adeyeye, Secretary-General; and Samuel Ogungbemi, Media Committee Secretary.
While congratulating Oyetola on his victory at the Tribunal, the statement advised the PDP to channel its grievances to the courts, the appropriate quarters, instead of resorting to civil unrest.
It said Oyetola’s victory at the tribunal was a well-deserved one as it had pointed to the fact that “no matter how far lies have gone the truth shall one day conveniently overtake it”.
The statement said: “Anybody who is aggrieved should go to court and not resort to threat to public peace, killing and maiming innocent citizens.
“Presidential election is close by and we do not want anything that will heat up the polity.
“Judgment had been delivered; parties who were not satisfied should go back to court to air their grievances.
“There is room for appeal, so there should not be any form of crisis arising from the judgement because the election petition tribunal is not the final arbiter.”
Meanwhile, Governor Adeleke has appreciated party members and people for their protest against the tribunal’s judgement.
In a statement issued by Malam Rasheed Olawale, his spokesperson, Adeleke expressed delight at the reaffirmation of popular support for his governorship mandate.
He assured the people that “the popular mandate” will not be stolen either through the front or the backdoor.
He said: “I have read stories of multiple protests and I have seen many videos from all over the state.
“From central, west and east, I am overwhelmed by your open defence of our mandate.
“I express my appreciation to our people for their show of support. Your love for me is much appreciated.
“We have not done anything wrong. We won clearly with a wide margin.
“Local and foreign observers hailed our election as the best in recent Nigerian history.
“Be rest assured that by God and man, justice will be done. Our mandate won’t be stolen.
“I urge you to remain calm. We should not take the law into our hands. We have appealed the judgment and we are sure of victory by the special grace of God.”
The Chairman of the three-man Tribunal, Justice Tertsea Kume, had declared on Friday in Osogbo that the July 16, 2022 governorship election in Osun State was not conducted in compliance with the Electoral Act.
Justice Kume declared that there was over-voting in 774 polling units in 10 local government areas in the state during the polls.
He said after the deduction of valid votes scored by candidates from the observed over-voting, Oyetola polled 314,931 votes against Adeleke’s 290,266 votes.
Kume directed the Independent National Electoral Commission to retrieve the Certificate of Return issued to Adeleke and in return issue another one to Oyetola.