The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Osun State yesterday began reaching out to leaders and elders of other political parties ahead of Thursday rerun governorship election in the state.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had declared the governorship election held on Saturday inconclusive, after the PDP candidate, Senator Ademola Adeleke, triumphed over his APC counterpart, Gboyega Oyetola, with a slight victory margin.
New Telegraph reliably gathered that in a bid to win the rerun, the two leading parties have launched desperate moves to woo the standard bearer of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), Senator Iyiola Omisore, through the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi.
For instance, PDP leaders were said to have reached out to some prominent chiefs in Ile-Ife to prevail on the foremost traditional ruler to discuss with Omisore on how he could assist and direct his political followers to cast their votes for Adeleke in the election.
In furtherance of the reconciliatory efforts, the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, yesterday met with Omisore behind closed doors in Ile-Ife.
Speaking with reporters after the meeting, Saraki disclosed that the PDP had entered a pact with the SDP candidate and will not renege on the agreement.
He said: “We had a fruitful discussion with Senator Omisore. He used to be with us and we believe he is helping us now. I am optimistic of a good outing for PDP.
“After meeting with him, I am more optimistic now that with his support, PDP will win. We are confident of a good outing. I am more confident now.”
On his own part, Omisore assured that any party prepared to implement his programmes as SDP candidate would have his support during Thursday’s rerun.
He revealed that APC representatives had also contacted him on how he could back them at the poll.
He said, “I have given my programmes to both APC and PDP. My programme is like this; payment of salaries and pensions. Good governance is what is important to me.
“Anyone between the two that will do that will get my support. I am passionate about Osun and my interest is the welfare of the people of this state. I have told those sent to me. At the appropriate time, we will tell you where we are going.”
Our correspondent further learnt that PDP leaders have held series of meetings at the party secretariat where they mapped out strategies to reach out to the Action Democratic Party (ADP) flagbearer in the inconclusive election, Alhaji Moshood Adeoti.
Meanwhile, the APC has scheduled a meeting with traditional rulers of the local governments where the re-run election would be held on Thursday.
Though the traditional rulers of the affected local governments are yet to be contacted on the meeting as at the time of filing this report, our correspondent gathered that information would have reached all of them by today.
The ruling party, according to highly placed sources, believes the royal fathers have influence on their subjects.
Huge sums of money had reportedly been earmarked for the project.
Apart from this, town hall meetings have been fixed in the affected local governments while house-to-house political campaign has also been scheduled to hold in the affected places.
Already, a prominent traditional ruler from the state (name withheld), who is a card-carrying member of the party, was said to have embarked on the political campaign to Ife South local government to canvass votes for Oyetola in the rerun.
The traditional ruler visited Garage Olode and Ifetedo, among other towns, to canvass vote for the APC candidate.
Also, the APC National Leader and former Lagos State Governor, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, was said to be planning to reach out to some traditional rulers by himself.
According to sources, Tinubu has concluded arrangement to lead his team to the royal fathers of the affected local governments and discuss how to achieve victory for APC.
Meanwhile, both the APC and PDP have dispatched their agents to communities where rerun election would be held to negotiate votes ranging from N50,000 to N100,000 per vote.
For instance, in Ifon-Orolu, Orolu Local Government Area, a clergy who identified himself as Pastor Joel, said an agent came to the premises of his church to negotiate with him.
Joel said: “He (the party agent) said he would give each member with PVC a sum of N50,000, I could see that desperate intent in him. Anyway, I told him point blank that such could not happen in my church.
“He went away and another one came, he spoke to me as if they have seen each other. I later discovered that there were many of them on the streets.”
Also, at Alekuwodo, Ward 5, in Osogbo, the state capital, an elderly man said both parties’ agents approached him differently to negotiate with him on how he could prevail on his family members to vote for their parties during the re-run.
The old man explained that the targets of most politicians are people with polygamous families who have many children and wives.
He added that the agents promised to give N100,000 to each of his family members if they agreed to vote their party members.
Also, a trader in the same Alekuwodo, said: “The first party came with over 20 agents to discuss with us. They first contacted that woman operating a kiosk at the junction to mobilise those people who have Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVCs) and promised to pay N50,000 immediately we produce our cards and pay us N50,000 as balance after election on Thursday.
“I saw them writing down the numbers on the PVCs of those who agreed to the bargain and return those cards to them. I wonder what they want to do with those numbers.”
Also, at Laro unit, Ward 4, Isale-Osun, Osogbo, voters were seen in clusters discussing about the juicy offers by the two parties.
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