The Chairman of the Ondo State Gubernatorial National Campaign Council and governor of Oyo State Seyi Makinde has expressed fears that with the current composition of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, the electoral umpire may not be able to conduct a free and fair election in the state.
In a statement on Thursday, Makinde decried the appointment of Prof Eyitope Ogungbenro Ogunbodede, the Vice Chancellor of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, as the Chief Returning Officer of the Ondo State Governorship election.
He decribed the university Don as a crony of the incumbent Governor WHO is also the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Rotimi Akeredolu, in the election hence the party totally rejected his appointment.
He stressed that if this is not considered for immediate action, the people of Ondo State will not be getting free and fair elections in the Saturday’s election.
He said, “The PDP totally rejects Prof Eyitope Ogungbenro Ogunbodede acting as Chief Returning Officer. He is a known crony of Rotimi Akeredolu SAN, candidate of the All Progressives Congress and hails from Owo, the same hometown as the candidate. He cannot be a fair party in the proceedings by virue of their association.
“We also want to state that Professor A. S. Bamire, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, who conducted the training of returning officers is not a neutral party for the purpose of this election.
“We therefore call on INEC to stay true to their name and replace Prof Eyitope Ogungbenro Ogunbodede with a disinterested party. The Chief Returning Officer should have no affiliations with any of the participating parties in the elections.
“We also take this opportunity to call on all lovers of democracy around the world to pay attention to what the APC led administration in the center is trying to do in Ondo State. We call on the United Nations, the European Union, the United State and the United Kingdom and indeed all allies of democracy to call INEC to order.
“We call on all security agencies in Ondo State not to allow themselves to be used as a tool against the will of the people. We commend you for all you have done so far providing the needed support and security for our candidate and our people.
“We urge you to do more. Don’t forget that history and posterity have never been kind to anyone who allowed themselves to be used as a tool for injustice. We urge you to read the mood of the people and act accordingly. Politicians may come and go, but the people will always remain. Remember, the world is watching.”
See below press briefing (video) chairman of the Ondo State PDP Gubernatorial Campaign Council and governor of Oyo State, Seyi Makinde