The Ondo Independent Electoral Commission (ODIEC), has declared its readiness to conduct free, credible and transparent elections. This is coming ahead of the local council election in the state tomorrow.
Prof. Yomi Dinakin, Chairman of the commission gave the assurance at a media chat in Akure, yesterday, saying it will be COVID-19-compliant and violent-free.
Dinakin noted that 10 political parties had indicated interest to participate in the election, which will hold across the 18 local councils of the state.
While reacting to a report of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) refusing to participate in the election based on distrust, he said: “I don’t feel anything about PDP’s withdrawal. It will be better if all political parties participate.
He stated that the PDP never indicated to participate in the election and won’t be forced to do so, noting that all parties that indicated were given the opportunity to participate.
On their part, the State Secretary of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Oluseye Olujimi Esq, in an interview explained that his party is boycotting the election for reasons unconnected with the illegality APC government is pursuing. There is no way PDP, a law abiding party, would support illegality he said.
He pointed that the Electoral Act provides some modalities as to how an election is to be run. From the publication of names of participating parties to time-table. He said if the proper guidelines are not being followed, the party can’t participate in such. “It is on this note that we have refused to participate in the forthcoming local government election” he said.
The Chairman who presumed the outcome of the election has said:
“It won’t be unlikely that they will just put pen on paper and write out those names of APC chairmen and councilors in all local governments in the state. So, it’s on this note that we are not participating”
Taking stand with his party, he declared “PDP is party where we make our facts and findings and we just don’t campaign anyhow. We campaign with what’s obtainable”.
He concluded with the party’s readiness in subsequent elections. “We are ready mentally, constructively and prepared. We are embarking on scientific campaign. It’s always good to be underrated, by the time we come out, the result will tell”
Meanwhile, the state governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, has directed that today, August 21, 2020, should be observed as a work-free day.
According to him, the directive will enable residents of the state to have adequate time to prepare for the local council election scheduled to hold tomorrow, August 22, 2020.
In a statement by the state’s Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Donald Ojogo, he also urged the electorate to freely exercise their voting rights, imploring them to shun violence during the exercise.
In another development, prior to the commencement of governorship election campaign in Ondo State, the PDP candidate, Eyitayo Jegede, has flayed the state government for stifling opposition in the state.
He accused the administration of Akeredolu, who is also the Flag bearer of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), of political intolerance.
In a statement by Head of Media and Research, Eyitayo Jegede Campaign Organisation (EJCO), Mr. Samuel Fasua, yesterday, the group lamented that the governor was using government machinery to prevent them from erecting campaign billboards.
Fasua said the development reeked of abuse of power and flagrant disobedience to extant laws granting political parties equal rights to relevant public utilities.
However, several calls to the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr. Segun Ajiboye, to react to the allegations were ignored.