June 15, 2024

Oyo LG polls: Knocks, protests as PDP sweeps polls

On Saturday, April 27, 2024, the Oyo State Independent Electoral Commission, held local government election across the 33 council areas.

DAILY POST, however, reports that the election conducted under the chairmanship of Isiaka Olagunju, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), has been generating mixed reactions.

According to OYSIEC, the election was conducted in a peaceful manner in all the 33 local government areas and 361 wards.

But our correspondent, who monitored the election, reports that the exercise was marred by voter apathy and late arrival of electoral materials in most of the polling units.

The electoral body had earlier promised that the election would start at 8 am and end by 3 pm but this was not so in most of the polling units.

This is in addition to the absence of result sheets in most of the polling units.

However, the electoral body declared winners of the election the following day despite the perceived irregularities and public outcry by the opposition political parties and other stakeholders.

The commission declared the winners of the election on Sunday, 28th April, 2024.

The results of the election showed that candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the ruling political party, won all the positions.https://dailypost.ng/2024/04/28/council-polls-pdp-sweeps-33-oyo-lgas/

Oyo LG election peaceful – Makinde

The State Governor, Engineer Seyi Makinde in his reaction, described the election as peaceful.

Makinde made the declaration while addressing journalists shortly after he cast his vote at Polling Unit 1, Ward 11, in Ibadan North East local government area.

He commended the citizens of the state for turning out to vote.

He noted that the security report about the election had been excellent.

The governor said, “For us in Oyo State, it is almost like a given that democracy at the grassroots is what we practise. This is almost our 5th year in office and we are holding local government elections for the second time.

“Before we came in, it had always been caretaker administration at the grassroots without the people having a say in who should govern them.

“You can see around also that the people are going about, performing the exercise peacefully and the traffic restriction is being obeyed by the people.

“So, I will commend our people for coming out to take democracy seriously at that level.”

Reps member, Olajide describes election as peaceful, commends security agencies

A member of the House of Representatives representing Ibadan North West/ Ibadan South West federal constituency, Hon. Adedeji Stanley Olajide in his reaction also described the exercise as peaceful.

He used the opportunity to commend security agencies for maintaining peace and orderliness during the election.

Olajide further urged Nigerians to change their attitude towards local government elections.

He lamented a situation where only few people come out to vote during local government elections.

The lawmaker made these declarations shortly after he cast his vote in Ibadan South West local government area.

“I want the people to attach importance to local government elections in the country. The people should come out the way we usually do during the presidential, national assembly and state elections.

“Our people do not always come out for local government elections.

“We should do it the way we used to do during the general elections. Because, it is your power. It is when you vote that you can ask for development. It is your right,” he stated.

APC calls for cancellation

On its part, the major opposition political party in the state, All Progressives Congress (APC) has called for the cancelation of the election.

The party described the election as a sham.

APC in a statement issued by its Publicity Secretary, Wasiu Olawale Sadare said that the election was capable of causing the state untold disrepute if allowed to stand.

“With what is happening at the moment in most Polling Units across the state, Gov. Seyi Makinde has again disappointed the whole world.

“He promised the people that their votes would count today but the opposite is the case. The good people of the state desired to participate in an election to elect a new set of council officials but what they are experiencing is nothing but a sham.

“Even if OYSIEC comes out later to declare all the candidates of the APC, we would not rate this election as credible and acceptable as it falls below the minimum global standard of election conduct.

“The best thing is for the Commission to suspend the exercise and choose another date for a proper conduct rather than continue to connive with a few anti-democratic elements in the ruling PDP to perpetrate electoral fraud and desecration of democracy in the land.

“For the avoidance of doubt, OYSIEC started with a back and forth position on the need to deploy the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) for the conduct of the poll.

“Few days ago, the Commission recruited PDP members as its adhoc staff and this same set of people were saddled with the responsibilities of conducting today’s poll and they have been carrying out the script given to them by the powers-that-be in the state.

“What could be the rationale behind taking 500 pieces of ballot papers to a Polling Unit where about 1,500 registered as eligible voters?

“OYSIEC failed to mobilise officials to attend to prospective voters in key polling units while it also released inadequate voting materials to virtually all the polling units.

“In most Polling Units, officials of the Commission did not arrive until 12 noon when most voters had left for their respective homes in frustration.

“This aptly validated the suspicion that the PDP had handed a script to the Commission to implement in their favour.

“In the 10 local government councils of Oke-Ogun, the official result sheets known as Form EC8A were withheld by OYSIEC’s Electoral Officers while political thugs were unleashed on some members of the opposition who asked questions in places like Kajola, Olorunsogo, Itesiwaju, Ibarapa East, Lagelu, Ido, Oyo East, Atiba, Oluyole among others.

“The chairman of our party in Ibarapa East, Mr. Segun Ojediran, was violently attacked by the PDP thugs in Eruwa and he is now receiving treatment in a private hospital.

“OYSIEC has failed to accommodate more than 80 per cent of the eligible voters in the state today and there is no way the meagre 20 per cent of people who were lucky to cast their votes in a lawful manner can decide the fate of the vast majority.

“Obviously, the Commission allowed a few people to cast their votes at the polling units while the majority’s right to vote was secretly handed down to the PDP.

“Any electoral victory given behind closed doors is illegitimate, tainted and unacceptable. Therefore, we call for the total cancellation of the whole exercise as it was done today,” the party said.

OYSIEC not prepared for election – APC Senator, Alli

The Chairman, Senate Committee on Electoral Matters, Barrister Sharafadeen Abiodun Alli agreed with his party that the OYSIEC did not prepare for the local government election in the state.

Alli, who represents Oyo South Senatorial District, made this declaration while addressing journalists at his family compound located at Ward 3, in Ibadan North local government area.

Alli, a member of the APC, decried late arrival of electoral materials in some parts of the state.

He added that a lot of abnormalities characterised the election.

Election characterised by irregularities – Itesiwaju ex-LG chairman, Olayode

A former Chairman of Itesiwaju local government area, Dr. Thomas Olayode in his contribution, explained that the election was characterised by late arrival of materials and late commencement of voting.

Olayode alleged that form EC8 was not taken to the whole Oke Ogun geopolitical which has ten local government areas.

“Do you know that they did not bring form EC8 to the whole of Oke Ogun. They did not bring it. So, where will they record the results of the election?

“The election was characterised by late arrival of essential materials.

“Consequently, late commencement of voting. Very low voter turnout across the LG. APC has lost confidence in the process,” he told DAILY POST.

It is a mockery of democracy- Don

A senior lecturer in the Department of Mass Communication and Media Technology, Lead City University, Ibadan, Dr. Bayonle Busari described the election as a mockery of democracy.

Busari while speaking with DAILY POST said that the election was marred with abnormalities.

He added that voting did not take place in some polling units on the day of election.

He said, “The last Saturday local government election conducted by Oyo State Independent Electoral Commission (OYSIEC) is, to say the least, a mockery of democracy and an affront on the good people of the state.

“My monitoring of the process and the feedback I got from those who decided to cast their vote, including some who were recruited as electoral officials, indicated that the election was conducted in the breach of what an election should be.

“My expectation was that the governor of the state, Engr. Seyi Makinde would be a statesman and leave a worthy legacy by conducting an election that will stand the test of time. He, however, missed the opportunity by placing the urge to dominate above a lasting legacy.

“What we saw on Saturday was worse than the same elections conducted by the late Otunba Christopher Alao-Akala and Senator Abiola Ajimobi put together.

“To put it mildly, it was a shame of an election. I empathise with the people who genuinely decided to partake in the election of those who will govern them in the next three years but who ended up being roundly disappointed.

“The majority of them could not find where to vote while others left without casting their votes either due to the unpardonable late arrival of electoral officers or gross unavailability of election materials.

“In some instances, electoral officials were not on ground up to the time when voting was expected to have ended.

“In some, election materials meant for some parts of local government areas were taken to places outside where they were meant for.

“While in some, voting did not take place at all while results were announced across all the areas.

“One thing that I am certain about is that the conscience of those who are the beneficiaries of this sham will nudge them on the reality of what ought to be, but was not allowed to be”.

It is a show of shame – Public commentator

A public commentator who asked not to be named described the election as a show of shame.

He added that the election will be recognised in the Guiness Book of Records as the most recklessly rigged election in the world.

“Well, Saturday, 27th of April, 2024 was a show of shame qualified to be recognized in the Guiness Book of Records as the most recklessly rigged election in the world.

“When I was reflecting on it, I concluded that it was a double jeopardy for the residents of the state.

“The State government through OYSIEC wasted the state’s resources under the guise of conducting elections, yet the conduct was a tyranny of people in power, and a mockery of democracy.

“So, it brought no gain, because at the end of the day, the selected men and women will be nothing than the puppets of Governor Makinde, who can’t do anything except what the governor directed them to do, they could have been selected through a rubber stamp state legislative’s nod and save the state’s resources.

“At any rate, this brazen way in which people’s hope was raised and dashed tells us that this country may be heading for the rocks if the Nigerian government toys with the idea of state police.

“Take it from me, state police will give governors unlimited power to capture their respective states effortlessly and rule with utter impunity.

“Imagine how OYSIEC, which in my view should be called governor Makinde’s lapdog, bungled gallantly what could have redefined the structure of local government administration in the state.

“Where elections were supposedly held, Forms EC8 were not provided, giving indication that the results have been pre-manufactured and in some other places, you can’t point to anything suggesting a shadow election let alone local government election. It is such a sad narrative.

“Unfortunately, members of the pen profession gave the jamboree some level of credibility because of gratification.

“Across different media platforms, they were playing to the gallery, asking public relations questions, and refusing to set an agenda on some absurdities going on.

“Why can’t the press report the facts? So, I concluded that the havoc of the media is equal or worse than that of the political class, because the media failed woefully to hold them accountable,” he told DAILY POST.

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