No Going Back – Inec Insists Ondo Election Must Hold On Saturday
SAN FRANCISCO, November 25, (THEWILL) – The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has rejected the call from Eyitayo Jegede, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate in the Ondo Gubernatorial election, demanding the shift of Saturday's governorship election.
Jegede had led a protest to the INEC headquarters in Akure, the state capital, contesting that his list of party agents had not been received, adding that his faction had also not got a copy of the voter register.
He also presented a letter to Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) Segun Agbaje, demanding a postponement of the election
“We want INEC to shift the date of the election to enable me enjoy the privileges the candidates of other parties enjoy in the election,” he said.
“Before now, my party has written to inform INEC on what is needed to be done in line with the provision of the law. They have not replied the letter. There are three conditions for election postponement, these conditions are, violence, natural disaster or any other emergency. What we have here is a legal emergency; it must be attended to; it is a legal emergency.”
“It follows from the foregoing that any list of agents purportedly forwarded by one Poroye and his fellow pretenders who had been illegally parading themselves as the state executive members of the PDP, Ondo State cannot be regarded as authentic.
“As it is, the Peoples Democratic Party has not forwarded the list of its agents to the commission.
“Whichever way one may look at the situation on ground, the governorship election of Ondo State slated for 26th November , if conducted, will undoubtedly be in breach of the Electoral Act 2010 as amended.
“It is in light of the foregoing that I request you to defer the governorship election for Ondo State for at least 30 days so as not to conduct the election in flagrant violation of the Electoral Act 2010 as amended.”
Responding, the REC said there was no going back on the election saying the commission was ready for the election and there was no way it could shift it.
Agbaje said adequate security had been provided to escort the materials to the local government areas promising that the commission would defend the party if there was any post-election litigation over the matter.
He however agreed to accept a list of party agents from Jegede adding that INEC will discard the list given to it by the sacked candidate of the party, Mr. Jimoh Ibrahim.
“We are going to conduct the election on Saturday ; there is no going back,” he declared.
“It is not the fault of the INEC that parties are having intra-party crises. It will cost Nigeria a lot of money if the election is postponed.
“We have prepared well for the election; the sensitive materials are already out and to postpone the election, it will cost the nation a lot of money.
“The materials which were supplied directly from the vault of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), in Akure include ballot papers, result sheets and other forms that would be used to collate the results.
Story by Oputah David