Observers Want Ondo Election Shifted


• IPAC warns electorate against selling votes
James Sowole in Akure
As the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) begins distribution of materials to various local governments, the Coalition of INEC Accredited Domestic Observer Groups for Ondo gubernatorial election, said buying of voter cards by politicians had commenced in different parts of the state.

The Coordinator of the team, Mr. Igwe Kalu, stated this in a pre-election statement issued yesterday in Akure, saying the act was being perpetrated especially in Ilaje, Ese-Odo and Owo local governments.

Kalu said it had been reported that thumb-printing of ballot papers was ongoing at Kiribo in Ese-Odo Local Government, where the deputy governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr. Agboola Ajayi hailed from.

“INEC, security agencies, political parties, media and other stakeholders have not really harmonised to prevent the various infractions that marred previous election in the state.
“The court rulings on the authentic candidate of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is also a serious concern to the voters especially supporters of the party and the candidate.

“Some security personnel are overzealous and have turned to be instrument of intimidation and harassment of citizens in the State against their constitutional mandate of protecting life and property/ ensuring peaceful and mutual habitation,” Kalu stated.
The team leader said in his report that there are enough reasons for the postponement of the election.

“Following the dying minute court judgment that affirmed the authentic candidate of the PDP to be Eyitayo Jegede, for fairness, moral considerations and level playground, INEC should consider postponing the election to enable the candidate of the PDP that was just cleared by the court to minimally prepare for the election.

“The postponement of the election will also douse political and security tension created by Justice Okon Abang   judgment against Eyitayo Jegede’s candidature for the election
“While we have confidence on the commitment on our dear President Muhammadu Buhari in strengthening our democratic values, we urge him to see reasons with the good people of the State who are threatening to boycott the election should INEC go ahead with the election on Saturday and call the commission to order by postponing the election in consideration to the demands of the people,” he said.

Meanwhile, the National Chairman of the Inter Party Advisory Council of Nigeria  (IPAC)  Muhammad Lawal Nalado, yesterday called on political parties, contestants and the electorate to maintain high sense of civility and decorum in the course of their last minutes campaigns.

Addressing journalists in Akure, Nalado advised against selling their votes, noting that doing so would amount to “mortgaging the future of your unborn generation and denying you the moral right to hold the winner accountable.”

He pleaded with INEC and security agencies to conduct a credible and acceptable election and to perform their constitutional duties without bias.

The chairman called on the electorate to vote for candidate that have articulated the numerous economic, social and political problems. And proffer solutions.

The state government has declared today as public holiday to enable workers prepare for tomorrow’s  governorship election.
The state Head of Service, Toyin Akinkuotu, directed all heads of MDAs to inform workers in their offices.