Osun by-election: Adeleke’s victory unite Sheriff, Makarfi factions

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Osun by-election: Adeleke’s victory unite Sheriff, Makarfi factions

The National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, and the Chairman of the party’s National Caretaker Committee, Senator Ahmed Makarfi, have congratulated members of the party in Osun State for winning the Saturday senatorial election in the state.

The two men said the victory recorded by the party in the Osun West senatorial election by its candidate, Alhaji Nurudeen Adeleke, was a result of hard work.

The PDP candidate defeated other contenders in the election, including Senator Mudasiru Hussain of the All Progressives Congress, who was backed by the state governor, Rauf Aregbesola.

Adeleke, the PDP candidate, defeated Hussain with total votes of  97,480 to 66,116.

Sheriff, in a statement on Sunday by the acting spokesperson for the party, Mr. Bernard Mikko, said the party would dedicate the PDP victory to the memory of Senator Isiaka Adeleke.

The late Adeleke, a former governor of the state, who died in April, was the senior brother to the senator-elect.

The PDP stated, “This victory is as a result of hard work, dedication and commitment of PDP members in Osun State. We thank them all for their loyalty, especially our grass-roots mobilisers, who worked tirelessly to make this victory possible.

“The significance of this victory is obvious and the leadership of the party at all levels will consolidate on and earn this trust and confidence reposed in the party.

“The national leadership of the party is particularly pleased with the Osun State Working Committee, party elders youths and traditional leaders that warmly received us.

“We give glory to God and dedicate this victory to the loving memory of the late Senator Adeleke, whose legacy will be championed by his successor.”

He said the era of what he described as “blatant impunity is over”, adding that no form of indiscipline or distraction would be tolerated in the party again.

In his own reaction, the Makarfi committee, who spoke through its spokesperson, Dayo Adeyeye, said the PDP’s victory was a general reflection of the reawakening of Nigerians to the alleged deceit of the APC.

The caretaker committee stated that the PDP believed that the senator-elect would deliver on his promises to the people.

Adeyeye added that the successful outcome of the Osun State senatorial election was the evidence of hard work, dedication and the unity of all members of the PDP in Osun State, who, he said, buried their temporary differences in the overall interest of the party.

“We are confident that without the interference of the APC in the current leadership issues in our party, the PDP remains the party to beat in all elections in Nigeria,” he added.

Also, the National Secretary of the PDP, Prof. Adewale Oladipo, commended stakeholders in the senatorial district, saying the outcome of the poll actually reflected the wishes of the electorate.

Oladipo specifically commended the Independent National Electoral Commission, the security agencies and the electorate for the peaceful conduct of the polls.

He stated that the peaceful conduct of the by-election had shown clearly that all hope was not lost in the nation’s electoral system.

The Chairman of the PDP in Osun State, Mr. Soji Adagunodo, hailed the victory of Adeleke, describing it as an act of God.

Speaking in an interview with The PUNCH on Sunday, Adagunodo said the victory was beyond human calculation.

He stated, “I want to thank God and the people of Osun West Senatorial District for voting massively for the candidate of our party.

“This is the hand of God, it’s not the act of any man; it is of God.”

Omisore, Osun Speaker congratulate Adeleke

In the same vein, a former Deputy Governor of Osun State, Senator Iyiola Omisore, and the Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Mr. Najeem Salam, congratulated the Senator-elect.

Omisore stated, “This is a triumph of light over darkness. The doggedness, dedication, loyalty and commitment of you all make this victory sweeter. The overwhelming victory our party recorded shows the level of disenchantment Osun people have against the incumbent administration in our dear state.

“I rejoice with the good people of Osun State generally and Osun West in particular who aligned with my belief that Chief Ademola Adeleke possesses the qualities to continue the good work his late brother was doing and that is the same reason I toured the whole senatorial district with him.”

The Speaker, who congratulated Aregbesola for creating a conducive environment for the election to take place, hailed INEC for conducting a credible poll and security agencies for being effective in the discharge of their duties.

The speaker said, “I salute the courage and comportment of the contestants for putting up a good democratic fight. I congratulate the people of Osun West Senatorial District and the senator-elect, Otunba Demola Adeleke, on the success recorded.”

Also, a former governorship candidate of the Labour Party in the state, Alhaji Fatai Akinbade, said Adeleke’s victory signalled the end of the APC administration in the state.

He said, “For our party, it shows that working together as one big family, we can always show strength, achieve great results and surmount every obstacle in rebuilding the fortunes of our party and restoring good governance to the country.’’

Sustain your brother’s generosity –Oluwo

Also, the Oluwo of Iwoland, Oba Abdulrosheed Akanbi, appealed to the senator-elect to sustain the generosity of his late brother to further endear him to the masses.

Oluwo described the election as a demonstration of love for the family of the late Isiaka Adeleke, urging other politicians to learn from the political antecedents of the first executive governor of the state.

Oba Akanbi, in a statement made available to one of our correspondents on Sunday, commended INEC, security agencies and the electorate for ensuring a peaceful and credible election.

He said, “Otunba Ademola Adeleke should sustain the generosity of his brother relating to human empowerment and infrastructural development which aid effective governance.

“I specially commend the electoral umpire, the security personnel and my law abiding sons and daughters of Osun West Senatorial District for their peaceful conduct and respect for the rule of law.”

I am overwhelmed by my victory, says Adeleke

Meanwhile, the senator-elect has expressed gratitude to the people of Osun State for voting massively for him during the Saturday by-election in the Osun West senatorial district.

He said he was overwhelmed by the love and support shown to him by the people of the state especially in the senatorial district.

Adeleke, who said his name, Nurudeen, meant the light in Islam, believed that light had come to the state.

He added that his victory would swing the pendulum of victory to the side of the people during the 2018 governorship election in the state.

He announced a scholarship of N250m for the people of the senatorial district.

The lawmaker-elect said students of each of the 10 local government areas in the zone would get N25m, adding that he would continue with other welfare programmes of his late brother.

He said, “I am overwhelmed. I thank everybody. I thank my big brother, Dr. Deji Adeleke, for his support.

“I just announced N250m scholarship. This was what my brother did. I have learnt from the master, the late Senator Isiaka Adeleke.”

Democracy won, says Aregbesola

Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola believed democracy was the winner of the senatorial by-election.

“I congratulate Ademola Adeleke on his victory at the polls yesterday (Saturday). The people have spoken. Democracy won and we respect the people’s choice,” Aregbesola said in a tweet on Sunday.

INEC now getting it right, says Ekweremadu

Also, the Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, congratulated Adeleke on his victory in the Saturday by-election.

He described the poll as “a glimmer of hope for the nation’s electoral system.”

Reacting to the outcome of the election, Ekweremadu, in a statement on Sunday, said it was not only a victory for the PDP but more importantly, a victory for the nation’s democracy.

“It also appears the Independent National Electoral Commission is beginning to get it right in reviving hope and confidence of the people in the potency and sanctity of the ballot box.

“We will tread the path of cautious optimism, watching and believing that sanity is beginning to return to the electoral system once again,” he said.

PDP, APC Reps caucuses react

In the same vein, the PDP caucus in the House of Representatives, on Sunday, celebrated the victory of Adeleke.

The caucus described the victory as the “beginning of the end of the APC and its dominance of the country’s political landscape since 2015.’’

The Minority Leader of the House and leader of the PDP caucus, Mr. Leo Ogor, in a statement in Abuja, congratulated the Adelekes, party faithful and the voters in Osun State for supporting the PDP.

The statement read in part, “While the lacklustre APC candidate had no commendable record of projects even in Ejigbo, his hometown, during his past stay in the Senate, he was the anointed one imposed by Governor Rauf Aregbesola’s fiat, instead of allowing democratic processes of choice at the primaries.

“It was no surprise that while citizens acknowledge that an unprecedented number of Nigerians are losing their minds and committing suicide as a result of bad economic management by the APC government, it has remained pre-occupied with its usual propaganda.”

Also, the APC caucus in the House said the victory of the PDP was a lesson that voters should not be taken for granted.

The Majority Leader of the House and leader of the caucus, Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila, told The PUNCH that both the APC and the PDP had some lessons to learn from the development.

He explained, “Win some, lose some. That is what makes politics interesting and that is my comment.

“It only means in modern day Nigeria and world politics: You don’t take voters for granted. That lesson is to be learnt by all parties and not just APC. I hope PDP does not learn from our mistakes.

“Having said that, I believe what happened in Osun can also be isolated. It stands on its own peculiarity and may not be of general applicability.”

Osun APC congratulates Adeleke, Hussain keeps mum

Meanwhile, the APC in Osun State, in congratulating the Senator-elect, said the defeat of its candidate in the by-election was a temporary one, saying the ruling party would bounce back in the 2018 governorship election in the state.

The Director of Publicity, Research and Strategy of the APC in the state, Mr. Kunle Oyatomi, said this in an interview with one of our correspondents.

While the party spoke on Sunday, the APC candidate, Senator Mudasiru Hussain, had yet to make any comment on the outcome of the poll.

Efforts by The PUNCH to talk to him were unsuccessful as Hussain neither returned calls to his telephone nor responded to the a text message sent to him concerning his reaction to his defeat in the election.

The APC spokesperson said there was no doubt that Aregbesola had done very well in the state since 2010, stating that the defeat would cause the party to re-strategise in order to return to winning ways in  the next governorship poll.

He said, “Yes, we may have lost the election but we have not lost our hope.

“This government has done wonderfully well for the people of the state. We accept the outcome of the election and we congratulate Otunba Nurudeen Ademola Adeleke.

“As a party, we will go back to the drawing board and re-strategise. This is just a passing phase; next election will be a different ballgame by the grace of God. The APC will bounce back.” Courtesy: Punch

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