INEC Chairman, Attahiru Jega
By Omololu Ogunmade and Sheriff Balogun
As preparations ahead of the July 21 local government election in Ogun State, the Conference of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP) has hailed the state’s electoral commission (OGSIEC) over its level of preparation for the election.
While CNPP is commending the electoral body, the state’s chapter of the Peoples Party of Nigeria (PPN) on its part, has faulted OGSIEC over the election guidelines it released for the election.
But CNPP in a statement signed by its chairman, Otunba Owolabi Odebudo, commended OGSIEC for successfully screening the 28 political parties vying for various offices at the poll, stating that the exercise had led to 14 parties been cleared to field candidates for the election.
Odebudo a two-time governorship candidate on the platform of Peoples Redemption Party (PRP) in the state and South-west leader of PRP, tasked the commission to ensure absolute transparency, free and fair local government election in the State.
He also appealed to the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) government in the state to ensure a level playing field for all political parties fielding candidates in the election adding that the CNPP was determined to at least win 10 of the 20 local government councils in the state.
Odebudo implored the entire 1,947,258 registered voters in Ogun State to come out en-masse and exercise their voting rights during the election.
He also urged the state government to ensure that maximum security is provided during the election. The 14 political parties cleared for the council poll include ACN, PDP, PRP, PPP, RPN, AGPA, CPC, CPN, ANPP, APN, CPP, ARP, PPN and LP.
Meanwhile, the secretary of PPN’s in the state, Mr. Deji Enisenyin, while criticising the commission, said the aspect of the election guidelines which directed voters to leave polling centres after casting their votes was not acceptable.
The party said the directive raises serious concern ahead of the election, saying: “This situation is to give room for electoral malpractices.”
“At the last general election in the country, we are all living witnesses to the fact that the President and all state governors, including Senator Ibikunle Amosun, the situation was such that electorate witnessed the counting of their votes at their respective polling stations.
“If Amosun can benefit from this procedure, why should he be shying away from it at this moment,” the statement added.