Amidst political tension in Osun state, the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Saturday election, Senator Ademola Adeleke has written a letter to diplomatic missions in Nigeria, raising alarm over threats to his life and rabid clampdown on his supporters ahead of Thursday supplementary polls.
In the letter already dispatched to diplomatic missions, Adeleke catalogued the many infractions in the last Saturday polls, the refusal of INEC to declare him the winner in line with the constitution, the killing and maiming of his supporters, the arrest of key leaders on trumped up charges and the manipulations of the electoral process.
He states: “I am constrained to write this letter to intimate you, our diplomatic partners and friends of despotic happenings in Osun governorship polls which I won but for which I was not declared the winner. My life is under threat and leaders of my party are under siege before and after Saturday main polls.
“During the campaigns, we were subjected to countless attacks. I escaped about four assassination attempts. Our campaign vehicles were severally attacked and our rallies disrupted. We went through the pre-election process under constant onslaught from political thugs and merchants of violence.
“Despite the violence prone climate, I still won the election. On live television, our votes were removed and protestations for re-addition of the votes were rejected. Votes for the ruling party were jerked up and again the electoral umpire refused to correct the arithmetical errors. After all the manipulations which saw about 4000 votes removed from my total votes, I still won by close to 400 votes.
“In a brazen assault on democracy, the returning officer in open breach of the constitution refused to declare me the winner even after fulfilling constitutional stipulations. The officer erroneously justified declaration of the election as inconclusive based on violence in seven out of about 3000 voting units across the state.It was a travesty of justice that is under challenge in court of law.
“Not satisfied with that rape of democracy, the ruling, APC immediately launched a coordinated manipulation agenda to rig the Thursday supplementary polls. Voters register of affected areas are been doctored; unclaimed voters cards are being shared out; massive vote buying are ongoing; and my supporters are been hounded.Democracy is clearly under threats.
“The agenda of the ruling party is to ensure that votes do not count. The target is to thwart the will of the people. The APC is out to subvert the will of the people, an action that will have deeply negative impact on the sanctity of the electoral process ahead of 2019 polls”, Adeleke said in the letter.
He then called on the international community “to prevail on President Muhammad Buhari to allow votes to count by restoring my mandate”, adding “We count on you to mount pressure on the ruling party to restore people’s mandate in Osun state .
“We make this request because Osun state is the cradle of Yoruba people. Denying them their inalienable right to pick their governor is a potent threat to democratic sustainability in Nigeria.Our nascent democracy has been under intense pressure and it is not in our collective interest to deepen the national stress index.
“We seek your intervention to prevent another rigging underway in Osun state. I am the holder of the sacred mandate of Osun people. We need the international community to assist Nigeria to make votes count”, he said.
The letter was sent to European Union, United States and several diplomatic missions in Nigeria and the United Nations.