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GROUP CHALLENGES AC, OTHERS OVER OLURODE'S ALLEGED PARTISANSHIP

By Tunji Oluwasanmi
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A Non Government Organisation in Ekiti State, the Ekiti Justice Group (EJG) has challenged the opposition Action Congress (AC) and pro democracy groups in the country on the alleged partisanship of one of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) National Commissioner Nominees, Prof. Lai Olurode, saying; “The AC's silence on this allegation is a further demonstration of the party's hypocrisy and double standard.”

EJG, in a release signed by its National Coordinator, Dr. Tunji Oluwasanmi and made available to journalists in Ado-Ekiti today, said; “If it were to be the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that Olurode was alleged to be sympathetic to, the AC people and their collaborators in the human rights and pro democracy community would have been making noise on it.”

Olurode, a University of Lagos (UNILAG) professor was quoted to have described the Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola-led PDP government in Osun State as a government with a stolen mandate.

He made the comment on June 12, 2009 while the elections petitions tribunal was still sitting on the petition filed by the AC governorship candidate in Osun State, Mr. Rauf Aregbesola against the election of Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola of the PDP.

It was alleged that; “On June 15, 2009, a local newspaper in Osun State, The Osun Defender published a report in which it quoted Prof. Olurode to have said that; 'no matter the antics of the People Democratic Party in the state to manipulate the will of the masses in the state, it would not see the light of the day, saying truth would always prevail in any difficult situation.'

Olurode further said that; “the effort of the PDP aimed at frustrating the case of the masses, would not be successful, adding that it is a ploy to buy more time for an expired administration.”

EJG, in its reaction said; “With this statement, which Olurode has not deny, it is obvious that he is an AC sympathiser and as such cannot be an unbiased election umpire.”

Describing the AC and its activist friends as hypocrites, EJG said; “By keeping silent on this issue, the AC people have further demonstrated that they are not sincere on the Electoral Reform.

“This attitude of the AC and its collaborators are dangerous to the survival of democracy in Nigeria. To them, election rigging is lawful when they are the ones benefiting from it. Fraud is right if they are the ones perpetrating it. A judgment is good if it benefits them. Honestly, we cannot make progress with this kind of attitude and it just must stop.”

While commending President Goodluck Jonathan for his commitment to transparency and Electoral Reform, the EJG urged him to drop Prof Olurode and other INEC nominees with affinity to any political party.