By; NIYI OGUNGBOLA, Abeokuta.
The All Progressives Congress (APC) has won all the 57 chairmanship seats contested for in the Local Government and Local Council Development Areas election held across Ogun State last Saturday.
While APC swept all the 57 Chairmen of LG and the LGDC with 346 out of the 349 councillorship seats contested, the Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN) won two councillorship seats and People’s Democratic Party (PDP) won one Ward.
UPN councillorship candidates won their seats at Omu Ward in Leguru LCDA as well as in Oke – Odan Ward in the newly created Ifesowapo LCDA, while PDP councillorship candidate won at Ona-Otun/Igbogila Ward of Yewa South Local Government in the election which conduct was widely criticized by opposition political parties as neither free, nor fair and also lacking credibility.
Both, the South West leadership of PDP, state chapter of UPN and Labour Party (LP) have however, called for an outright cancellation of the election results over alleged pockets of violence and other irregularities that greeted the conduct of the poll.
At a press conference addressed yesterday in Abeokuta, the state capital, PDP Zonal Secretary, Rev. Bunmi Jenyo accused leadership of the state chapter of APC of master-minding the irregularities and alleged pocket of violence witnessed during the election which he said has culminated in OGSIEC’s rigging the elections in its favour.
Jenyo, who stated that the South West PDP premised its call for the cancellation of the election results on four grounds, lamented that APC could “resort to strong arm tactics to perpetrate itself in power at all cost”.
He alleged that OGSIEC, with the intent to rig, deliberately refused to supply election materials to some local governments and LCDAs such as Ijebu Waterside, Remo North among others, which were considered to be the strongholds of PDP and other opposition political parties in the state.
“During voting processes, ballot boxes and ballot papers were criminally hijacked by miscreants armed to the teeth who were identified members of APC particularly in Abeokuta”.
South West PDP further alleged that the election witnessed sporadic gun shots in some local councils, while some of its members who resisted the hoodlums sustained varying degrees of injuries, with two of them sustained gun shots admitted at the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of Babcock University Teaching Hospital in Ilishan Remo.
Jenyo however, warned that it is high time Nigeria politicians, particularly those of the APC embrace the spirit of sportsmanship and desist from taking politics as “a do or die affair” in the interest of the country.
In his own reaction, State chairman of the Labour Party (LP), Abayomi Arabambi condemned the conduct of the election and called for its cancellation outrightly.
Arabambi, who said that LP had already filed a suit against OGISIEC for de-listing his party from participating in the poll, however called on the National Assembly to initiate a legislation that would make the Joint Account Allocation Committee (JAAC), withhold fund allocations to all Local Governments in Nigeria forthwith.
In her own reaction, UPN state chairperson, Hon. Funmilayo Oginni also called for the cancellation of the council poll result on the ground that the state electoral umpire failed in its promise to providing level playing field for all participating political parties.
Mrs. Oginni further stated that the state governor, ibikunle Amosun should have told all opposition political parties that the election results would be pre-written instead of causing them the pain of mobilising party supporters who had to abandon their works, trooped out en masse to cast their votes.
“It was a nonsense election: We will go to court. My councilor won at Oke Odan Ward of Ifekowajo LCDA. If I don’t see my councilors for Oke – Odan, declared winner, we will meet Amosun and OGSIEC in court”.
In its own reaction however, the Inter Party Advisory Council (IPAC) commended OGSIEC as well as the Ibikunle Amosun led administration in the state for the success of the LG and LCDA poll, stressing that the process leading to the conduct of the election was highly transparent.
IPAC’s state chairman, Alhaji Moshood Adesina at a press conference yesterday in Abeokuta, maintained that result of the election was a true reflection of the performances of each political parties that participated in the poll.
Adesina however, condemned what he described as “situations where some disgruntled elements attempted to hijack ballot boxes”.
By; NIYI OGUNGBOLA, Abeokuta.