Osun State Governor, Mr. Rauf Aregbesola, has warned officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission against allowing some unscrupulous politicians to compromise them to tamper with sensitive materials used for the conduct of last Saturday’s governorship election.
The governor gave the warning at the presentation of certificate of return to him by INEC in Osogbo, on Tuesday.
He said that he was not being frivolous with the warning, saying such a criminal act happened in 2007 when some junior officials of INEC allowed some politicians to compromise them.
He said the Action Congress of Nigeria (now part of the All Progressives Congress) lost three seats at the House of Assembly due to post-election malpractices.
He said, “I want to warn, especially, the junior officials of INEC not to allow themselves to be used to falsify materials used for the election. It is still right to be extra vigilant concerning the materials used for the election.
“In 2011, the same thing happened and a member of the House of Assembly almost lost his seat but for the alertness of the judges. God caught them and the perpetrators forgot to use the same colour of ink to void the ballots.
“INEC should be very vigilant and ensure that nobody tampers with the election materials used. We have been victims of this.
“It will not only be criminal but also inimical to the development of the state if any of you allows yourselves to be compromised to falsify the documents. Should you go free, your conscience will not allow you and God, the ultimate judge, will punish you for it.”
Aregbesola said that there was more tension in the state on Saturday despite the deployment of a large number of security personnel than there was in 2011 when the state conducted legislative election.
The governor said that it was unfortunate that security agents were given orders to hound and kill leaders of the APC in order to put members of the party in disarray to give the Peoples Democratic Party an undue advantage.
While saluting the courage and the doggedness of former Governor Isiaka Adeleke, whom he said miraculously escaped several attempts made to arrest him, Aregbesola said, “Adeleke escaped because Yoruba people have a way of escaping.”
He also said that members of the House of Assembly in the state were harassed while some APC leaders arrested and clamped into detention had yet to be arraigned in court as of Tuesday.
The governor commended the determination of the people to vote for him despite the harrowing experience they were subjected to.
He, however, scored the electoral commission high, saying INEC scored 75 per cent.
He said what he had done in the state was a fraction of what he would do in the next four years.
The Resident Electoral Commissioner in Osun State, Mr. Olusegun Agbaje, in his speech appealed to politicians to shun do-or-die politics.
He said that politicians, despite assurances given to them, continued to level frivolous allegations against the electoral commission in the buildup to the poll.