Oyo LG Poll: No Justification For Postponement-OYSIEC Boss
Chairman of the Oyo State Independent Electoral commission (OYSIEC), Aare Isiaka Olagunju (SAN), has said there is no plan justification for calls for the postponement of the coming local government election in the state.
The local council poll is scheduled to hold in the state later this month, but a former governor in the state, Chief Adebayo Alao-Akala, had, on Friday, called for the postponement of the election.
Alao-Akala made the call while reacting to the judgment of the Supreme Court which invalidated the sack of the state ALGON by the present administration in the state.
The former governor, who is the Chairman, Elders Advisory Council of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Oyo state chapter, had advised Governor Makinde and the OYSIEC chairman to shift the poll to a later date “in order to protect the sanctity of our evolving democracy.”
He had said that, with the judgment of the apex court, it is trite in law for the governor to see that there is a need to postpone the election.
“Going on with the local government election, as earlier scheduled, will throw the state into another round of legal gymnastics.
“My advise to him is to sit down with the OYSIEC officials, look in to the new development and do the needful which is to shift the election date.
“Fortunately, the OYSIEC chairman is a learned fellow. He knows what the law says as regards disenfranchisement. He knows what the constitution say about holding elections and he knows the consequences of holding a one sided election.
“Apart from that, both the governor, Engineer Seyi Makinde and the OYSIEC chairman have a name to protect now and in the future of the development of our democracy in Nigeria,” Alao-Akala had said.
Responding, however, the OYSIEC chairman said there is no justification for the state electoral body to shift the election from 22 May, 2021 to a later date.
Aare Olagunju said the commission on September 3, 2019, it has embarked on visitations to and consultations with political parties, religious centres and other relevant stakeholders across the state, since its inauguration on 3 September, 2019.
He said the essence of his visits to all political parties’ offices was to reassure every participant of OYSIEC’s impartiality and commitment to free, fair, transparent and credible local government poll.
Olagunju expressed surprise at calls for by former Governor Alao-Akala and other leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) leaders in the state to extend the election date for them to participate.
The OYSIEC boss it would be unfair to extend the May 22 date already scheduled for the election because of a political party.
He said there is no way the commission could extend the election date, due to level of preparations made in the last few months hence, declaring that the election will hold, as scheduled.
“I was at the APC secretariat to visit Baba Akin Oke and other state exco to assure them of our sincerity. We begged and appealed to them to participate in the election because we knew the likely outcome of the court judgement.” Olagunju added.