Bravery! How Osun West Youths Defended Their Votes
If you think Mr Ademola Adeleke’s victory in the Osun West Senatorial election came easy, then you may be a learner!
After Governor Aregbesola masterminded what was termed the imposition of a candidate against the prefered brother of late Isiaka Adeleke, the people decided to show him at the polls.
And that they did! But this is how they went about it – it was operation protect your vote.
After they finished voting, youths and residents besieged the Baptist High School, Iwo – venue of the collation of votes and the eventual announcement of the result by INEC.
The youths and residents had gathered in their hundreds at the premises of the school shouting ‘ibo yi o see yi’ (meaning ‘this votes cannot be rigged’) and vowing to protect every vote brought into the collation center from manipulation by the political players from any of the parties.
Although, voting ended at two o’clock in the afternoon, the youths and residents, who were from the Iwo township besieged the collation center standing at different points in the premises.
They kept themselves busy discussing and shouting to display their commitment to foiling any act that could tamper with their votes.
This went on for several hours as youths and residents from other local government areas constituting the senatorial districts soon joined.
The collation center became rowdy and the atmosphere turned tensed.
It required the combined efforts of the police, civil defense, DSS and the Army to chase the youths and residents out of the collation center using tear gas.
The youths would not be deterred by the actions of the security agents who manned a stop-and-search stance at the entrance to the collation center.
They demanded that all persons and vehicles entering must be thoroughly searched by the security agents to prevent unauthorized persons and illegal election materials from being smuggled into the center.
In the process, many party members and journalists were harassed by the growing crowd of agitated youths and residents who kept vigil at the entrance of the collation center till 3AM.
They left the place only when they were sure that all electoral officials, materials and security agents had left the center for the state capital, Osogbo.
Their efforts paid off when Ademola Adeleke of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was announced winner of the Osun west senatorial election polling a total vote of 97,480 against 66,116 votes polled by his immediate rival, Senator Mudashiru Hussein of the All Progressive Congress, APC.
Senator-Elect, Ademola Adeleke will now replace his late brother Isiaka Adeleke in the Osun West senatorial seat at the senate.
Isiaka Adeleke died on April 23, 2017.