AC, GROUP WANT AYOKA REDEPLOYED
The Action Congress (AC) has advised the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega, to redeploy Mrs. Ayoka Adebayo from Ondo State as the Resident Electoral Commissioner .
This, the party said, was to allay fears that her posting was a collusion between the Commission and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
In a statement issued in Lagos yesterday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said while it believed that Prof. Jega did the posting without malice, as he had explained, 'the posting seems to reinforce the public boast by former President Olusegun Obasanjo, a stalwart of the PDP, that his party would re-claim Ondo state from the Labour Party in the next general elections.'
It said going by the long-standing relationship between Obasanjo and Mrs. Adebayo, the arrogant assurance by the ex-President that his party would win Ondo and the posting of Mrs. Adebayo to the state was too much of a coincidence to be overlooked.
'If, indeed, this is a coincidence, it is a dangerous coincidence and all efforts must be done to ensure it does not taint the outcome of next year's polls in Ondo State. Prof. Jega must realise that perception is at times more important than reality,'' AC said.
The party said those who were calling for the redeployment of Mrs. Adebayo were not being frivolous, going by what happened in Ekiti State during the last gubernatorial election in the state, when the woman suddenly turned against her own conscience and her Christian religion – which she had said was inhibiting her from doing certain things – only to announce the same result she had denounced.
'We will also like to recall that Obasanjo was sighted in Ekiti state before that governorship rerun, perhaps to issue the necessary orders to Mrs. Adebayo. What followed is too fresh to forget and the good people of Ondo are right to link Obasanjo's recent boast of re-taking their state to the posting of Mrs. Adebayo,'' it said.
The party added that if Prof. Jega did not know where to post Mrs. Adebayo, because she might have become a liability rather than an asset to the commission because of her uninspiring past, the INEC Chairman should bring her back to the INEC headquarters in Abuja, where she could be properly supervised.
''Every effort must be made to ensure that next year's general elections are not tainted by any act of omission or commission. That's why we recommended that all RECs who have compromised themselves in the past should be sent packing. Now, the chicken may be coming home to roost,'' the party said.
Reasoning along AC's line was the Committee for the Protection of Peoples Mandate (CPPM), which also condemned , in strong terms, the recent deployment of Mrs. Adebayo to Ondo State as the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC).
The group, which expressed shock at the posting, therefore, demanded her immediate recall predicating the call on the role she played in the Ekiti State governorship rerun election result fiasco of April 25, last year.
A statement signed by CPPM chairman, Mr. Nelson Ekujumi, also reminded of her '360 degrees somersault and announcement of the result of Ido Osi Local Government, where election never took place as voters were disenfranchised by thuggery and violence, election observers, monitors and journalists were barred, assaulted and injured by rampaging PDP thugs with the active connivance of security agents and INEC officials.'
The group, therefore, advised leadership of INEC not to destroy the trust, support and goodwill of Nigerians, who were determined that any impediments to a credible election in 2011 should be removed.
'Any attempt to retain Mrs. Adebayo in INEC is capable of undermining the new INEC leadership resolve to give Nigerians credible elections in 2011,' the statement warned.