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Oyo LG Poll Was A Selection, OYSIEC Boss Did Same In 2021 — Opposition Parties Carpet IPAC

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The opposition parties that participated in the last local government elections in Oyo State have disagreed with the Chairman of Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC) in the state, Adegbenro Fagbemi, on the credibility of the exercise.

The opposition parties included Social Democratic Party (SDP), All Progressives Congress (APC), African Action Congress (AAC), African Democratic Party (ADP) and Labour Party (LP).

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The local government elections, held on April 27, had seen the ruling Peopes Democratic Party (PDP) winning the chairmanship and councillorshhip seats in all the 33 local governments in the state.

It would be recalled that the IPAC chairman had, while assessing the polls recently, described it as free, fair and credible.

However, the parties, in a statement issued in Ibadan on Monday, said Fagbemi’s comment only represented his personal opinion and his cohorts in IPAC.

Speaking on behalf of the parties, the Chairman of SDP in the state, Mr Michael Okunlade, said the IPAC chairman’s statement did not represent the position of all members of the council.

“We will like to give Otunba Adegbenro Fagbemi the benefit of the doubt that he probably mistakenly used IPAC’s name instead of the party, APM, that he represents.

“We equally doubt if his party participated in the election.

“For him to have gone public to make a statement that Oyo LG polls was free, fair and credible is a careless statement that does not represent the position of members of IPAC.

“Even as chairman of IPAC, he does not have the moral right to declare the election otherwise, because the ruling PDP is also a member of IPAC.

“For these reasons, whatever he said must have been to represent the position of his own political party and there is a moral question on the chairman to have used the name of IPAC in his address,” he said.

Okunlade noted that other political parties agreed to participate in the LG polls, alongside PDP because of the assurance they were given that the election would be a record breaker in terms of transparency and credibility.

According to him, the citizens’ general perception was that local government elections are always in favour of the party in government.

He noted that the State Independent Electoral Commission (OYSIEC) did not honour its pledge that the election would be transparent and credible.

“We want the public to be aware that none of the political parties wanted to participate in the election in the first instance, going by the experience of local government elections conducted by OYSIEC, under the leadership of Aare Isiaka Olagunju in 2021.

“We were given assurances time and time again that the election was going to be a record breaker in terms of transparency and credibility in the history of local government elections in Nigeria.

“The OYSIEC chairman also promised the political parties that Gov. Seyi Makinde was not going for third term and was going to leave a legacy of free, fair and credible election in the state.

“He even made attempt to use BVAS for the election in order to give credibility to the elections.

“It was on that honourable arrangement and assurances that all political parties agreed to participate in the election,” he said.

Okunlade further stated that the outcome of the election had been known to the whole world, adding that the public had, at different times, expressed their reservations about the exercise.

“In a situation where over 70 per cent of polling units did not receive ballot papers and stingily distributed to some other polling units, can anyone adjudge that as an election?

“Our position is that what took place on April 27, 2024 was not an election but a selection and it is totally condemned.

“It was a deceit carried too far, a fraud and it should not be allowed in the history of local government elections in Oyo State,” Okunlade said.

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