Governor Rauf Aregbesola of OsunState and Senator Iyiola Omisore were, yesterday, locked in a verbal war over the fate of the 181 election monitors deployed from Osun State to monitor the recent Anambra State gubernatorial election.
Senator Omisore, a gubernatorial aspirant on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, asserted that the election monitors now held by the Police in ImoState were fake election observers who should be diligently prosecuted.
He said the election monitors were being used to test-run alleged rigging schemes of Governor Aregbesola ahead of the forthcoming gubernatorial election in OsunState.
Omisore’s assertion was immediately rebuffed by Governor Aregbesola who accused his traducer of smelling election defeat in the face and resorting to all desperate means to ameliorate defeat.
Aregbesola also accused the police in Anambra and Imo states of working in cahoots with opponents of freedom to destabilise the work of the 181 election monitors, who, he said, were genuine observers working on the platform of the Justice and Equity Organisation.
While calling on the police and the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to monitor Governor Aregbesola’s activities in the run-up to the OsunState gubernatorial election, Senator Omisore said:
“What Aregbesola did was to test-run and perfect his rigging plans towards next year election in Osun Sate having declared to his APC members that his second term ambition is a do-or-die affair.”
Accusing the election monitors arrested by the police in ImoState as fake election observers, Omisore called on the police to diligently prosecute them for the sake of equity.
Aregbesola in a riposte said:
“It is laughable for people like Iyiola Omisore to use the Anambra/Imo police chicanery as a premise to call on the Inspector General of Police, IGP, to monitor the movement of Governor Rauf Aregbesola.”
In the statement by Semiu Okanlawon, Director General, Bureau of Communications, the governor said:
“Omisore is smelling defeat already before he emerges the candidate of his party. Obviously, Omisore nurses the fear that Aregbesola’s influence transcends the shores of OsunState and thus wishes that the governor’s movement be monitored.
“No amount of such dubious and devious moves will earn Omisore a place in the hearts of Osun electorate and, in fact, every right-thinking person. For more than a week now, Nigerians have been entertained with a drama of the absurd by the Nigeria Police.”
Defending the mission of the 181 election observers to AnambraState, he said.