As residents of seven polling units in Osun State get set to determine who will be the next governor, leaders of the two major parties have both claimed to have secured the crucial support of Iyiola Omisore.
Mr Omisore whose party, SDP, came third in the governorship election held on Saturday, stands no chance to be elected governor after Thursday’s supplementary poll.
Ademola Adeleke of the PDP scored the highest with 254,698 votes ahead of Gboyega Oyetola of the APC, who polled 254,345 votes. Mr Omisore, who hails from Ife Central local government, polled 128,049 votes to occupy the third place.
The supplementary election was declared on Sunday after the electoral commission, INEC, declared the governorship election inconclusive. INEC said the margin between the two leading parties, PDP and APC, is less than the number of cancelled votes (3,498) in the seven polling units.
On Tuesday, APC delegation led by the party chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, and governor-elect of Ekiti, Kayode Fayemi, met with Mr Omisore.
By Wednesday morning, a spokesperson for the Information ministry, Joseph Mutah, sent a message to journalists that Mr Omisore at the meeting agreed to work with the governing party.
“The SDP Candidate in last Saturday’s Governorship Election in Osun State, Chief Iyiola Omisore, has agreed to work with the APC in Thursday’s rerun.
“The deal was sealed after a meeting between Chief Omisore and an APC Team led by Chairman Adams Oshiomhole in Osogbo early Wednesday,” Mr Mutah said in the short message accompanied by photos from the meeting.
However GQBuzz News earlier reported how Mr Omisore’s support was crucial for any of the APC or PDP to win the supplementary election.
To convince the Ife-born politician to support the PDP, the opposition party sent a delegation led by Senate President Bukola Saraki to meet with Mr Omisore. After the Monday meeting, Mr Saraki said he believed Mr Omisore would support his party.
“After meeting with him, I am more optimistic now that with his support, PDP will win. We are confident of a good outing. I am more confident now,” the senate president said.
“We have agreed to work together because our goals are the same. We all want good governance in Osun State. Over the next 24 hours, we will work out the details.
With about 24 hours to the Thursday election, all eyes will now be on Mr Omisore on who he would formally support for the election, and whether his supporters in those seven polling units will abide by his call.