Ondo guber: INEC was partial – CSOs

Following the out of last Saturday’s governorship election in Ondo State, the Coalition of Civil Society Groups has faulted the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), saying it was partial and played to the gallery during the exercise.

 

The group, which also condemned the electoral body for the wrong use of the Young Democratic Party (YDP) logo on the ballot papers supported the party’s position that it was robbed of votes.

 

This was contained in a statement by the civil society group review and assessment report of the Ondo State election signed by the its Vice President, North, Alhaji Sidi Ali.

 

The statement reads, “The Coalition of Civil Society Groups having reviewed the processes and activities prior to, during and immediately after the last Ondo governorship elections in Ondo State, hereby give our assessment of the process. Our position is informed by the reports of 30 Civil Society Organisations drawn from our membership that independently monitored the entire electioneering process.

 

“It was our observation that the INEC played to the gallery by involving certain political parties and interests more in the process than others. INEC which ought to have been neutral played to the media script of a supposed “three-horse-race” when in actual fact there were 27 duly registered national political parties in the race. INEC along those lines did the bidding of certain political interests by carrying on as if there were only 3contestants and hence their preparations and publicity of this election by implication exempted the others from the race at the expense of the so called bigger parties.

 

“If we are to deemphasise the influence of money from our politics, INECs actions and body language in that election has robbed Nigerians of confidence in a truly participatory democracy where the will of the masses is captured and articulated.

“The Coalition of Civil Society Groups fully supports the position of the Young Democratic Party that it was robbed of votes it had canvassed for at great expense of time, human and material resources through a very extensive campaign. We condemn the disregard that the electoral body has shown for the young men and women who came together to have their voice heard in that state.”

 

According to the group, the unilateral decision of INEC to substitute the logo of the YDP is travesty of justice and democracy that must not be swept under the carpet. INEC carelessly substituted a party emblem even after the party had campaigned and built their manifesto around the message of: the light has come. It is even more flummoxing to independent observers that INEC took this direction even after it had uploaded the current logo of the party on its website. That such a blunder could have been committed so soon after same happened in Edo reveals an emerging pattern and a predetermined script being played out and such clandestine agenda will be resisted vehemently by the people of Nigeria.

 

“We therefore call on INEC to redeem itself by retracing it’s steps and cancelling the entire sham it carried out in Ondo state in the name of an election to give all contestants a level playing field to test the popularity of their programmes. Nigeria cannot continue to be run like a commodity available for the highest bidder, we find ourselves lagging behind peer countries because of the harm done by these selfish elitist interests against the needs of the larger masses. We call on INEC to tender an unreserved apology to this fledgling political party and others so marginalised in the build up to Ondo election 2016.

 

“All Civil Society organisations, spread across the length and breadth of Nigeria that make up this Coalition, assure the masses that we will continue to defend their interests by demanding that government continues to work for them and that their voices are heard on issues that affect them.”

Ondo guber: Election cannot be postponed on account of PDP’s internal crisis – APC

The All Progressives Congress has described as bizarre a request by a faction of the Peoples Democratic Party on the Independent National Electoral Commission to postpone the November 26 governorship election in Ondo State on account of the PDP’s internal crisis.

 

The APC said the PDP in continuation of its wild conspiracies on the Ondo State governorship election has also accused the APC of colluding with the judicial system, INEC and security agencies to “manipulate” the outcome of the Ondo State governorship election.

 

The party, in a statement by its National Secretary, Alhaji Mai Mala Buni, said further: “The PDP crisis and the aftermath governorship candidate tussle within its ranks are self-inflicted and the PDP cannot hold Ondo state and indeed the country hostage on account of its internal crisis. Instead of making the ridiculous election postponement request on INEC, the PDP should focus and redirect its energy towards putting its house in order.

 

“The APC is not party to any scheme to subvert justice and undermine the very progressive and participatory democracy which the APC fiercely stands for.

 

“The APC calls on INEC to ignore PDP’s bizarre request and concentrate on delivering a free, fair, credible and transparent ballot on election day.

 

“The Ondo electorate are wise and will vote for the candidate with a proven track record of performance on election day. A vote for the tested, trusted and credible APC governorship candidate, Rotimi Akeredolu, SAN, will bring about massive multi-faceted development which has eluded the state.”

Ondo Guber: Jegede Calls For Calm Over Appeal Court Verdict

The factional candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the November 26, 2016 Governorship election in Ondo state, Eyitayo Jegede SAN has called for calm among his supporters following the decision of the Appeal Court Justices sitting on party’s governorship candidate tussle to adjourn its judgment earlier scheduled for today.

The three man appellate justices headed by Justice Ibrahim Salauwa had announced to the parties that some set of applicants who had before now submitted a petition against the previous panel, had again filed a motion against the new panel at the Supreme Court seeking to stop further proceedings in relation to all matters touching on the Ondo State PDP governorship candidature.

It would be recalled that the Court of Appeal had fixed Friday 18th November 2016 to deliver judgment in respect of an appeal filed by Eyitayo Jegede SAN against the decision of Hon. Justice Okon Abang of the  Federal High Court  Abuja which ordered the substitution of his name with that of Jimoh Ibrahim for the Ondo November Governorship Election.

Jegede in a statement by the Head of Media and Publicity of his Campaign Organization, Kayode Fasua said he was not unmindful of the fact that the temporary setback is the handiwork of some anti-democratic elements hell bent on truncating his mandate for the November 26, 2016 polls.

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Hold Mimiko responsible for fresh breach of peace – AD

The Ondo State Chapter of the Alliance for Democracy (AD) has called on security agencies in the State to hold the State Governor, Dr Olusegun Mimiko responsible for any fresh breach of peace in the State.

AD in a release in Akure signed by its Secretary, Dr Sola Agboola on Monday alleged that Governor has surreptitiously begun another round of the planned breach of public peace and security in his bid to cause confusion and create a semblance of insecurity.

He said: “This is to facilitate his plans for the postponement of the Governorship Election coming up on November 26.”It will be recalled that Governor Mimiko who had been away from the State to Abuja for upward of two weeks in his prosecution of his Court case against the removal of the name of his Candidate for the election, Mr Eyitayo Jegede from the ballot paper, came back at the weekend.

“On Sunday, he addressed his supporters at the International Event Centre (The Dome) where he amongst others urged them to brace up for another rounds of protests in the State to force the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to postpone the election thus buying them time with to prosecute their Court case.

“While we are not opposed to his getting justice at the Court, which we believe is his fundamental right, it is however an irony that a man saddled with the onerous responsibilities as the Chief Security Officer (CSO) of the State is now the very one behind sponsored mayhem in the very state he governs all because of politics.

“This is to threaten the peace and security he professes to uphold at all times when he took his Oath of Office.”

The AD therefore, called on the security agencies in the State to be abreast of this “grand plot” by the governor and be abreast of this latest attempt by Governor Mimiko to sacrifice the lives, properties and peace of Ondo State on the altar of politics.

SABOTAGE: Ali Modu Sheriff is working for APC victory – Makarfi

Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Caretaker Committee, Senator Ahmed Makarfi, has accused factional leader of the party, Senator Ali Modu-Sheriff, of working for the All Progressives Congress, APC, to win the forthcoming governorship election by supporting Mr. Jimoh Ibrahim, instead of the declared winner of the primary, Mr. Eyitayo Jegede, SAN.

Makarfi, who spoke with journalists in Kaduna, also, accused Sheriff of breaching a Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, the two camps reached to break the impasse that had made the former ruling party divided along Makarfi and Sheriff camps. Both are senators and former governors.

He said: “Most members and supporters of our great party believe that Senator Sheriff is working for the smooth victory of the APC. That is why he is supporting Ibrahim Jimoh, who is not popular in the state. The APC is ready to do anything to win Ondo, and our party will not be surprised to see such a scheme being hatched.

“We gave INEC relevant notices as stipulated by law. They observed our primaries and they took our nomination. It was reported that the other side (Sheriff’s faction) did primaries at midnight in Ibadan. It was not covered by INEC or any authority for that matter. So, if a court of law gives INEC some orders contrary to our well organised primary election that produced Jegede, it is unfortunate. No such court of law, in the first instance, should give such an order.

“They are ignoring all the other laws relating to regulations and how candidates should emerge. Be that as it may, it has been our principle not to personalize issues because our judicial system provides for appeal process and we have appealed. And we have absolute confidence that the appellate court should be able, before the election date, to determine the legitimate candidate of the PDP. We are still confident that Jegede, the properly nominated candidate by our party men and women from Ondo State will be the name to stand for the election as a PDP candidate for Ondo.”

On the MoU, he said: “What we agreed was that the other side (Sheriff’s faction) will join the caretaker committee (Makarfi’s committee). And that was the basic agreement that was reached. We should set up an equal number of party men and women that would sit down and look at the modality for integrating the two sides into a new caretaker committee and also draw the modality for the withdrawal of all court cases or consensual settlement of the cases.

“We agreed that in withdrawing all cases, let it be something that we all consent to so as to prevent future litigation. The committee was to be for 12 from both sides, later it was Ali Modu Sheriff himself who thought that we should expand it to 14 each because his thought was that some members of the caretaker committee ought to have been members of the new committee because they know where we are and they can add to the new committee in making input. From his own committee members, he will also bring two to also join the other people. We said that it was a good idea.

“Later, I was the one that sent a message that we needed to expand it to 15 because instead of two governors we wanted to include three governors in order to carry everybody along. So, that was how we hit the figure 15 on each side.’ And the issue now became who will chair that committee and the term of reference. On who to chair the committee there were names that were mentioned.

“In my opinion, I thought of the person who was able to convene us without dispute should be able to chair the committee. In suggesting any other name you don’t know how it would be received by other people.

“Modu Sherrif suggested former President Goodluck Jonathan. And I said he had wanted to do similar thing before and he was advised against it and that he shouldn’t be dragged into it, more so, we don’t know how it will end up. If it ends up well, fine and well. Supposing it doesn’t end up well, we would have succeeded in bringing down his stature as PDP immediate past President. It will mean that he is involved in something which later failed. It wasn’t wise to get him involved in such issues, we reasoned together. We actually felt that it will be better that he play an advisory role and not a central role. And so, we didn’t really decide on who to take the position, it was opened for discussion. But, the key issue where we had problem was the issue of terms of reference.”

16,723 Personnel To Conduct Ondo Guber Election– INEC

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has said 16,723 of its personnel will be deployed to  conduct the November 2016,governorship election in Ondo State.

This comes as the the commission will publish the list of nominated candidates to represent political parties on October 27.

While the All Progressives Congress (APC) has Akeredolu as its candidate, media owner, Jimoh Ibrahim and former commissioner of Justice in Ondo State, Eyitayo Jegede, are locked in a tussle over the candidacy of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

Ondo State is made up of eighteen (18) Local Government Areas, 203 Registration Areas, and 3,010 Polling Units. It has a total of 1,660,055 registered voters.

A breakdown of the 16,723 personnel to be deployed indicates that INEC would deploy one (1) Returning Officer, eighteen (18) Local Government Collation Officers, 203 Registration Area Collation Officers, 301 Supervisory Presiding Officer (SPOs), 3,010 Presiding Officers (POs), and 11, 103 Assistant Presiding Officers (I,II and III).

Others are 1,321 Assistant Presiding Officers (VP), 621 Reserve Assistant Presiding Officers, 19 Local Government Area Supervisors, and 126 Registration Area Cluster Supervisors.

Similarly, the commission will publish the list of nominated candidates to represent political parties as well as official voters register for the polls, on October 27.

The anticipated publication is in compliance with the relevant sections of the law.

Section 34 of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended) provides that INEC should publish the list of nominated candidates by political parties at least 30 days before the day of an election.

Similarly, Section 20 of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended) provides that the Commission should publish the official register of voters for an election, not less than 30 days before the election.

Credit: leadership