By; BAYO AKAMO, Ibadan
With few days to the May 22 local government election in Oyo State, the Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN) on Tuesday asked the Oyo State Independent Electoral Commission, ( OYSIEC) to shift the date of the election.
The party in a statement by its Oyo State Secretary, Comrade Ayodeji Adigun maintainedthat the the shift in the date became necessary based on the just cancellation of fees payment for Chairmanship and Councillorship candidates in the Saturday polls by OYSIEC.
” SPN welcomes the decision as it is a confirmation of our earlier position that OYSIEC’s decision to charge fee for Nomination forms is illegal. However, we denounce OYSIEC for waiting this long, that is, until after it has already published the names of political parties and candidates to participate in the said local government elections before coming out to make the pronouncement. This is especially so given that the SPN had since 22 February, 2021, staged a protest to the Commission’s office to prevail on it to rescind its decision to place charges on the nomination forms for the election on the ground that such a decision is a violation of sections 7 (4), 106 and 107 of the Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999(as amended)” , it said.
The party added, ” it is in the light of this we hold that both the cancellation of the fee charged on the nomination form and plan for a refund is never enough. Hence, we call on the OYSIEC to extend the time to allow for the participation in the election of potential candidates of the poor and working class background now that the barrier of Nomination fees has been removed.”
SPN stressed further, ” therefore, we demand that now that the OYSIEC has finally lifted the impediment it earlier placed on the collection of Nomination forms, the Commission should allow the entire election calendar to be subjected to a democratic review with the involvement of representatives of political parties.”.
” This is necessary to create a level playing ground for equal participation in the elections. Otherwise, we will conclude that the charges earlier placed on the nomination forms and the delay in the pronouncement of its cancellation is a deliberate plan by OYSEIC to exclude and disenfranchised members of the working class and the poor masses who may be willing to participate”