Due to accusation and counter accusation on the authenticity of May 12 local government election in Oyo State, the Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN) has declared it’s withdrawal from the election.
The party announced its withdrawal from the election at a press conference held at NULGE event centre, Onireke, Ibadan on Thursday.
Addressing Journalists, Comrade Kolapo Oladapo, the Chairman campaign organisation for SPN explained that SPN belief that the Oyo State Independent Electoral Commission (OYSIEC) should have created an avenue for all the existing political parties in the state to participate in a prior discussion and democratic debate over various issues related to the election particularly the question of what should be the attitude of the commission towards the LCDA among other.
He maintained that despite the fact that, the OYSIEC refused to follow this line of course, the SPN still went ahead with the decision to participate in the election, even when most of the leading capitalist parties in the state boycotted the election out of the fear that the election will be manipulated in favour of candidates of the APC.
According to Oladapo, “Yes, we are aware that, election into the local government council is often manipulated in favour of the ruling party’s candidates in all states in the country. This is usually so because, individuals that preside over the activities of the commission are often acolytes and political appointees of the ruling party itself.
“We went ahead with the decision to participate in the election not because of any illusion that the election will be credible or free from manipulation but we strongly believe that the election campaign will offer us an opportunity to reach out to as many as possible working people and youths with our socialist programme of alternative way of running the society.
” But since Wednesday, May 2, 2018, there have been various exchanges of claims and counter-claims between the OYSIEC and an aggrieved faction of the APC over an interim order allegedly granted by Federal High Court 2 sitting in Ibadan, Oyo State to stop the May 12 council poll.
“According to media reports, the interim order implies that Oyo State Independent Electoral Commission, OYSIEC is restrained from going ahead with its plan to conduct the council poll on the basis of its newly created electoral areas outside the ones created by the INEC.
“Going by this interim order it is obvious that it will be wrong for the OYSIEC to go on with the May 12, 2018 council election on the basis of the electoral wards created by OYSIEC itself. This is because the Constitution does not empower the OYSIEC to create electoral area in which the LG election is meant to be held. Section 4 of the 1999 constitution of the Federal republic of Nigeria (as amended) is so clear of the powers of the SIEC which is to organise, undertake and supervise all elections to local government councils within the state.
“According to the section 148, of the 1999 Constitution, only the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is empowered with the responsibility of updating the voters register including the creation, delineation and adjustment of the electoral areas which must be made available to SEIC for the conduct of the election into local councils itself.
“This shows that the electoral areas created by OYSIEC which were recently given to political parties including our party by OYSIEC is illegal and cannot be used to conduct the May 12 election especially that such electoral areas created are in conflict with the one created by INEC.
” It is in the light of this consideration that we of SPN publicly dissociated itself from the election”, he concluded.