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Elections: Postponement Favours The South West, Olaosebikan    

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The postponement of the general elections by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is in the best interest of the electorate in the South West as it would enable all eligible voters in the region yet to collect their permanent voters' cards a fresh opportunity to do so and vote for the candidates of their choice, the Director, Media and Publicity, Oyo State PDP Presidential Campaign Organization, Alhaji Kehinde Olaosebikan has declared

According to a statement issued in Ibadan today, Olaosebikan said millions of electorate in the South would be disenfranchised if INEC had gone ahead with its earlier arrangement.

Olaosebikan stated that the present level of distribution and collection of the permanent voters cards in the country puts the electorate in the North at a big advantage over those of us from the South, a situation, he said could not produce credible and acceptable elections.

While distribution and collection has reached almost 100 per cent in the North, particularly, North West, the level in the South West is less than 60 per cent.

Rather than blaming a party, the PDP Presidential Campaign spokesman said: “all the political parties and Nigerians generally should be unanimous in their call on INEC to live up to its responsibility and ensure that all the eligible voters get their PVC before the new dates. The electoral body should equally make sure that it provides enough competent personnel and materials at all the registration centers in order to put a stop to the agony and hardship Nigerians are going through to get registered.

Olaosebikan stressed that this was not the time for partisanship, grandstanding, intimidation, incitement or expression of hate. “We should all at this point eschew all forms of sentiment, parochialism or dirty politics. For the sake of Nigeria, we need to face and address the issue at stake with clear objectivity and sincerity of purpose.”

As somebody on the field from this part of the country, I know quite well that many of our people have not been given their permanent voters cards.  Even in my town, our traditional ruler felt very bad when he was told that his card was not ready as INEC began the distribution of new PVC All Saints School, Onipe last Monday. Less than half of the registered electorate have been given their cards and that is the situation across the state and the South generally.

“What should be paramount to us now is making every eligible voter gets his card. The President had said it severally that INEC should ensure that every qualified person gets the card. As patriotic citizens of Nigeria, it is our responsibility to join the President and give him all the necessary support in his bid to strengthen our democracy.

“ Who can truly be sure of who a particular person would vote for? And this is why all the parties should support all efforts being made towards maximum participation of all in the elections. Skewing the electoral process in favor of a particular region whether deliberate or not  too should  also be fought and corrected jointly by all of us” Olaosebikan added.

For President Goodluck Jonathan, Oyo State people are ready to vote for him en masse anytime the election takes place. The people of the state have fully realized the importance of voting for a well educated man with passion for rule of law, press freedom, provision of quality health and education and development of women and the youth.

The people of Oyo State will never support or vote for any tribal leader who would lead a sectional fight against them as General Buhari did on October 13, 2000 when he stormed  the Governor's office at the Secretariat with trailer loads of armed youths on spurious allegations against the Governor of Oyo State then, the Late Alhaji Lam Adesina and his Government. The allegations were later found to be false after which Alahji Lam Adesina described Buhari as a tribalist and urged him not to destroy the country with his tribal bigotry.

It is however unfortunate that the same General Buhari publicly described by Alhaji Lam Adesina as a tribalist and enemy of the Yoruba is now being accorded un merited attention and importance by some Yoruba leaders for mere personal aggrandizement.

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