The re-run elections in Ogun East Senatorial District and the Representatives constituency promises to be an interesting one as the Election Petitions Tribunal in Ogun State earlier today nullified the election of the Senator representing the district, the controversial Chief Buruji Kashamu, and his House of Representative mate, Abdul Majid, Adekoya. The tribunal made the decision today in Abeokuta and ordered a rerun in 110 polling units, where irregularities were established.
Prince Dapo Abiodun, the All Progressives Congress,APC Ogun East Senatorial candidate in the March 28 Presidential and National Assembly Election challenged Kashamu’s victory at the tribunal, claiming that Kashamu was not validly elected. Instead, Abiodun wanted the tribunal to declare him the winner of the Ogun East Senate seat.
In the judgement of the three member panel reas by its chairman, Justice Tobi Ebimowei, the Tribunal said that there were some irregularities,some anomalies, adding that, some of them have been proven while some were not proven. Ebimowei disclosed that Ijebu Ode local government area was the only local government out of the nine in Ogun East that election results were not cancelled because the irregularities were minimal.
“We have to cancel in other local government because they were many anomalies and irregularities in local government such as Ijebu North,Ijebu East,Sagamu,Ikenne and Odogbolu,”the judge posited. He however stated that having perused all the evidences before the tribunal,37,008 votes was declared unlawful on grounds of proven irregularities.
Ebimowei also said the total valid and lawful votes for the first respondent after the deduction and adjustment is now 75,856 compared to 99,540 declared by INEC.
Already pundits conversant with the Senatorial district posited that the re- run elections promises to be a show down between the APC and the PDP in Ogun State. Wale Adedayo, a senior journalist and political analyst said it will be a “spectacle”.
His analysis: “Ogun State, like other states of the Federation has 3 Senatorial Districts. But due to the peculiar nature of Ogun East, political positions are often shared along Divisional lines, viz, Remo, Ijebu, Yewa/Awori and Egba. Ogun East consists of Remo and Ijebu Divisions, while Ogun Central is 100% Egba with Ogun West having the Yewa and Awori as majority. By reason of zoning, key positions are not supposed to be concentrated in any Senatorial District.
In the case of Ogun East, once the Governor or Deputy Governor emerges from a Division, it is automatic that the next quality ‘big’ position should go to the other Division. Today, the Ogun State Deputy Governor is an Ijebu, thus making it imperative for Remo to produce the Senator representing Ogun East.
But in the last general elections, the Remo overwhelmingly voted for an Ijebu, Buruji Kashamu, as Senator. It was a major reason their son, Dapo Abiodun, lost the election. Now that the Election Petition Tribunal has cancelled the election and ordered a re-run, it will be interesting to see if the zoning principle is retained by voters.
Of course, zoning has often been jettisoned in the past, at least twice – Ijebu produced both the Deputy Governor and Senator. And it had nothing to do with money.
This re-run too may not have much to do with money. Whoever is able to hold his or her area should come out smiling. Politicians have to learn that no matter the rigging principle employed by the other side, nobody can uproot you from an area where you are firmly planted.