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OPINION: Osun Election Is Neither Free Nor Fair

12 Aug

The Federal Government and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) should stop insulting the intelligence of the people of Osun State, and Nigerians in general. The PDP-led Government announced to the world that Osun State Governorship Election conducted on Saturday is free and fair. This is far from the truth.

An election in which about 75,000 masked DSS men, military and police flagrantly violated the rights of the opposition party cannot be said to be free and fair. Entry of the masked men to the state was heralded with senseless shootings into the air, thereby creating fear in minds of the citizens and opposition members.

The true intent of deploying the humongous security personnel manifested few hours to the election. Scores of All Progressive Congress (APC) leaders and members were arrested, harassed and humiliated; some escaped arrest because they got wind of the planned arrest and went into hiding.

Curious enough, those arrested were later released without charges. It was evident that they purposely created fear in the minds of APC supporters. They wanted them to steer clear of polling centres.

Though the election was deservedly won by the APC with over 100,000 votes, thousands more who could have voted for APC stayed away from polling centres for fear of harassment, intimation and arrest. Fear gripped all citizens.

As the 2015 general elections approach, it is incumbent upon the President Jonathan to ensure we have credible election. Credible election and vibrant opposition are essential condiments for democracy.

That the election was devoid of violence is commendable. But the militarisation of the state, harassment and arrest of opposition leaders and members is unconscionable and condemnable.

Femi Olabisi twits @Femiolas

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Posted by on August 12, 2014 in Opinion

 

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