As Oyo State Independent Electoral Commission (OYSIEC) commenced the preparation for the conduct of local government election in the state, different speakers representing various political parties at a stakeholders’ meeting have expressed dissatisfaction over the preparations of OYSIEC for the polls.
They expressed doubts over the readiness of OYSIEC to conduct elections into the 33 Local Government Areas and 35 Local Council Development Areas of Oyo state.
At the stakeholders’ meeting held at the House of Chiefs, secretariat, Ibadan, the leaders of various political parties and civil society organizations argued that the delimitation of wards had not been done in the 35 newly created Local Council Development Areas before OYSIEC came out with election timetable.
The OYSIEC’s Chairman, John Ajeigbe, had last Friday announced that the much awaited council elections in the state will hold on May 12, 2018.
Asking questions from OYSIEC chairman, the Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Oyo state, Wasiu Emiola insisted that political parties in the state deserved to know how many wards are in each of the newly created LCDAs.
According to him, “The creation of LCDAs is new in Oyo state, and this is the first time we will be having elections in the LCDAs. We want to know the numbers of the wards in each of the newly created LCDAs”.
Also, Chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) in the state, Mr. Angel Folorunso, noted that coming out with election timetable without proper delimitation of constituencies is like putting the cart before the horse.
The Oyo APGA Chairman wondered how OYSIEC wanted parties to prepare for the council polls without knowing which wards they would present councillorship candidates to contest election.
Responding to some of the questions, OYSIEC Chairman, Ajeigbe assured the stakeholders of the commitment of OYSIEC to conduct free and fair council polls.
Ajeigbe noted that most of the questions being asked by stakeholders were products of their mindsets, urging them to divulge themselves of negative mindsets towards the electoral commission.
But hardly had the OYSIEC’s boss finished with his response, when Pastor Dare Ojo, state Secretary of the Action Democratic Party (ADP) declared that members of the opposition parties had every reason to have negative mindsets towards OYSIEC.
According to him, “I believe that our mindsets are correct. During the last time, many of us wasted a lot of money to print posters, handbills and to embark on campaign and mobilization. At the end of the day, council elections were not held again.”
Answering questions from journalists after the stakeholders’ meeting, Chairman of the Conference of Nigerian Political Parties (CNPP), Alhaji Yinka Olona, said the meeting revealed that OYSIEC still has a lot of work to do.
Olona noted that there were some fundamental issues which OYSIEC failed to properly address during the meeting.