Osun West bye-election: Police arrest three suspected thugs

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Three suspected political thugs were arrested during the Osun West Senatorial bye-election on Saturday.
The thugs were arrested after they allegedly unleashed   mayhem at Igbokiti Unit  Ward 10 Polling Unit in  Okinni, Egbedore Local Government Council Area of the state.
State Police Commissioner, Mr Fimihan Adeoye, confirmed the arrest to journalists in Osogbo.
It was gathered that the thugs, who invaded the polling unit with cutlasses, injured some voters and some adhoc electoral officers.
Many of the voters were said to have fled as the thugs stormed the polling unit.
The police, however, said three of the thugs were arrested and had been detained.
“It is true we arrested three suspected thugs in Egbedore and their case is currently under investigation,’’ Adeoye  said.
He  said that the police would not hesitate to deal ruthlessly with anybody  who may want to thwart the electoral process  irrespective of  their status, religious  or political  affiliation.
“With our vigilance and commitment to ensuring  peaceful conduct of the exercise, we are very happy that there is peace and there is no significant case.
“We will sustain the peace and ensure effective security till the end and even after the entire electoral process,’’ he said.
Meanwhile, collation of results  has commenced  at INEC’s office in Iwo while there was anxiety in the state as both PDP and APC supporters awaited  the final results of the election. 
Chieftains of the APC and PDP, the two leading parties contesting in the bye-election, expressed  confidence that their respective parties would win the election.
Speaking shortly after casting his vote about 9 am at Ward 4, Unit 5, Gbongan Polling Unit,  Ayedade Local Government Area, APC chieftain, Mr Ismaila Alagbada, said the party  had left no stone unturned in  ensuring its victory.
“Our party had taken all necessary steps and our expectation is victory. we expect nothing short of victory,’’ Alagbada, the Osun State Commissioner for Commerce, Trade and Co-operatives, said.
Mr Dotun Babayemi, another APC chieftain in  Gbongan,  also said he was confident his party’s  candidate, Sen. Mudashiru Hussein,  would win the Osun West Senatorial seat.
Babayemi said this at St. Peter, Otun Balogun Ward 2, Unit One,  where he did his accreditation and also voted.
“We are very confident the APC and its candidate will be successful.
“ Our party had launched series of  campaign in the town and the entire local government to create awareness for this election,’’ he said.
In his own assessment of the election, Senator Akinlabi Olasunkanmi, a one-term PDP senator and former Minister of Youth Development, said the bye-election would favour the PDP.
Olasunkanmi,  who voted at Ward 5 Unit 16,  in Ode-Omu, Ayedade Local Government Area , however,  expressed the hope that there would not be voters’ apathy.
He urged INEC to remain independent and neutral to ensure a credible poll.
” If there is a level playing ground, I am quite confident our party’s candidate will be elected senator,’’ he said.
All the party chieftains, however, agreed that the election was orderly and peaceful.
They lauded INEC for the new system of accreditation and voting, saying with the process, voters spend less than two minutes to get accredited and cast their votes.
They were all of the opinion that the process had  encouraged  a high turnout of voters for the election.
The election was prompted by the death on April 23 of Senator Isiaka Adeleke, who was representing the district at the Senate.
Although 12 political parties are  contesting in the bye- election, the   two major contenders are the  PDP  and  APC.
The younger brother of the late Adeleke, Ademola, is the candidate of  PDP  while Mudashiru Husein, who represented the district between 2011 and 2014,  is the candidate of  APC.
The bye-election witnessed a high  turnout of voters.
Voters across the 10 local government areas  in the senatorial district also  commended INEC for  the smooth conduct of the election so far.
There was a  large turnout of voters in most polling units visited while accreditation and voting were carried out without hitch.
Card readers did not malfunction in most polling units visited and there was also adequate security.
Men of the Nigeria  Police Force, Army and Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps were stationed in strategic locations in polling units while others were patrolling the major roads in the concerned local councils.
The candidate of the All Progressives  Congress (APC), Mr Mudashiru Hussein,  commended the electorate for coming out in large numbers to vote.
Hussein, who cast his vote at 9:30 am at his Beulah Baptist Primary School Ward 3, Unit 1  in Ejigbo, commended INEC for a peaceful process.
” I want to commend the electorate for coming out en mass and I also want to commend INEC for this peaceful and orderly process.
” This process shows that INEC has improved tremendously,” he said.
Hussein  represented the district between 2011 and 2015.
Former Speaker of the House of Assembly, Mr Adejare Bello, who cast his vote at his Ologun Agbaakin Unit 4, Ward 3 Polling Unit  in Ede North Local Government Area commended the electorate for the large turnout.
Adejare, a member of  the PDP, also commended  INEC and  security operatives for ensuring a peaceful process.
” The process has been peaceful since 7 am and I have not heard of any negative report.
” But I hope what is happening in my unit will be replicated in all the 911 polling units in the district,” the former speaker said.
Also speaking, the younger sister of the late Sen. Isiaka Adeleke, Modupe Sanni-Adeleke, commended the electorate for the massive turnout.
Sanni-Adeleke, voted  at Alajue Ward 5, Unit 1, Ede South Polling Unit,  also said that the electoral  process was free and fair.
” I want to commend the INEC for the peaceful process and the electorate for the large turnout,’’ she said.
Similarly, Speaker of the House of Assembly, Mr Najeem Salaam,  also commended the electorate for the massive turnout.
Najeem , a member of APC,  who cast his vote at 10:55 in Ilupeju 1, Ward 4, Unit 6 Polling Unit  in Ejigbo,  commended INEC for a peaceful process.
” The election process is in a perfect order and we have a very good outing.
” The turnout of the electorate is massive and INEC and the security operatives did well,” Salam said.
Party agents of both the APC and PDP at the polling unit, Messrs Falade Mutiu and Azeez Ayanfe respectively, said the electoral  process was peaceful, adding that the turnout was impressive.
There was massive turnout of the electorate in Iwo and Egbedore Local Government Areas of the state.
Accreditation and voting commenced at 8 am at most of the polling units visited and these would end at 6.pm.
The election was prompted by the death of Sen. Isiaka Adeleke, who was representing the district at the Senate,  on April 23.
Although 12 political parties are  contesting in the bye- election, the   two major contenders are the  PDP  and  APC.
The younger brother to late Adeleke, Ademola, is the candidate for PDP  while Mudashiru Husein, who represented the district between 2011 and 2014,  is the candidate of  APC.

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