Ondo fixes LG poll for April 18, par­ties fume

The Punch - - TODAY POLITICS - Peter Dada, Akure

THe Ondo State In­de­pen­dent elec­toral Com­mis­sion has an­nounced April 18, 2020 as the date sched­uled to con­duct the lo­cal gov­ern­ment elec­tion in the state.

The last coun­cil poll was held on April 16, 2016 when the then rul­ing party, the Peo­ples Demo­cratic Party, won all the chair­man­ship seats in the 18 lo­cal gov­ern­ment ar­eas of the state.

The com­mis­sion’s chair­man, Prof Yomi Di­nakin, made the an­nounce­ment dur­ing a stake­hold­ers’ meet­ing with the rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the var­i­ous po­lit­i­cal par­ties in the state, at the head­quar­ters of the com­mis­sion in Akure, the state cap­i­tal.

The chair­man said there was the need for politi­cians and other stake­hold­ers to take note of the statu­tory no­tice for the elec­tion.

He di­rected the po­lit­i­cal par­ties in the state to con­duct their pri­maries be­tween Jan­uary 14 and Fe­bru­ary 7, 2020.

He said, “The pri­maries must be su­per­vised by of­fi­cials of the com­mis­sion.”

The chair­man also noted that po­lit­i­cal par­ties that had ear­lier paid for their can­di­dates in the 2018 aborted sched­uled elec­tion would not pay again, adding that there would be room for sub­sti­tu­tions of can­di­dates.

He said, “The com­mis­sion had re­quested from the INEC, a com­pre­hen­sive reg­is­ter for the con­duct of the elec­tion.”

How­ever, at the meet­ing some mem­bers of the po­lit­i­cal par­ties in at­ten­dance, re­jected this on date given by ODIEC for the elec­tion, ar­gu­ing that it was too close.

They also faulted the com­mis­sion for not giv­ing them the voter reg­is­ter.

One of the rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the po­lit­i­cal par­ties and the Chair­man of Mega Party of Nige­ria, Mr Biyi Poroye, ar­gued that ad­e­quate prepa­ra­tion had not been put in place by the par­ties.

He blamed the com­mis­sion for not hav­ing the voter reg­is­ter.

He said, “You (Prof. Di­nakin) don’t have the mo­ral right to con­duct the April 18 elec­tion.

“You are ad­vised to re­sign. Not ev­ery le­gal thing is mo­ral. You told us that you have writ­ten INEC to get the voter reg­is­ter.’’

“It’s the same ex­cuse you gave in 2018. The whole of 2019 noth­ing hap­pened. We are not all id­iots.”

But in his re­ac­tion, the ODIEC boss said, the com­mis­sion had car­ried out the as­sign­ment the way it should be done .

He said, “One of the things we learnt as teach­ers is that your stu­dents write your tes­ti­mo­nial.

“If any po­lit­i­cal party or in­di­vid­ual has the voter reg­is­ter it is not au­then­tic, it is not what ODIEC can work on.

“If ODIEC wants to con­duct an elec­tion, INEC must be prop­erly writ­ten to re­lease the voter’ reg­is­ter at a given date. Ask­ing me to re­sign is a ques­tion of my choice.”

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