Leaders of Oke Ogun area of Oyo State yesterday protested the alleged relocation of electoral ward and refusal of the State Independent Electoral Commission (OYSIEC) to recognise the duly elected councillor for the ward.
The aggrieved leaders from Ofiki town in ATISBO South Local Council Development Area (LCDA) issued a seven-day ultimatum to OYSIEC to re-allocate the substituted Ward 5 earlier located to Ofiki community instead of Ago-Are.
The indigenes declared as illegal and a breach of the Electoral Law, the substitution of Ito/Koso Ward 5 in ATISBO South LCDA with headquarters at Ito in Ofiki for Isale Aganna with headquarters in Ago-Are.
They noted that the failure of OYSIEC under the chairmanship of Mr. Jide Ajeigbe to reverse the ward to Ito/Koso with headquarters in Ito in Ofiki will push the residents to institute a legal action against the commission and its chairman.
Ofiki community’s spokesman Sunday Olaewe, who addressed reporters yesterday in Ibadan, the state capital, accused OYSIEC chairman of raping democracy by shifting the already allocated Ito/Koso Ward 5 in Ofiki to Isale Aganna in Ago Are to satisfy the wish of his wife, who is said to be an indigene of Ago Are.
Olaewe, who was accompanied by a former Ogun State Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) and the Akogun of Ofiki, Mr. Niyi Ogungbola, as well as other community leaders, said it was annoying that Ito/Ofiki Ward 5, which had a councillorship candidate, Olusegun Awakan, was reallocated to Ago-Are.
He recalled that till date, OYSIEC had not recognised Awakan as the duly elected councillor for the area, after he had been certified and given necessary screenings in line with the commission’s stipulations.
On behalf of the community, he issued the ultimatum to OYSIEC to recognise Awakan as the Councillor for Ito/Koso Ward 5 in ATISBO South LCDA and reverse the substitution of Ito/Koso in Ofiki to Isale Agannna in Ago Are.
Olaewe said: “We are giving OYSIEC a seven-day ultimatum, starting from today, to reverse the substitution of Ito/Koso Ward 5 to Isale Aganna in Ago Are and recognise Awakan as the councillor for the area; failure to do so, we will approach a court of law to claim our mandate.”
He added: “Gentlemen of the press, we want to draw your attention to the illegalities, fraudulent practice and breach of electoral laws of Oyo State perpetrated by the OYSIEC under the leadership of Mr. Jide Ajeigbe during the Oyo State local government and LCDAs election on May 12.
“We, the indigenes of Ofiki community, Into Quarters in ATISBO South LCDA, wish to categorically state that OYSIEC under Mr Ajeigbe criminally deleted the name of Ito/Koso Ward 5 during the just-concluded election and substituted the same ATISBO South LCDA Ward 5 to Isale Aganna with headquarters in Aganna compound in Ago Are without the approval of either the committee set up on ward delineation or that of Oyo State House of Assembly.
“It may also interest you to know that in the build-up to the local government and LCDA election, ATISBO South LCDA, Ward 5 already had a councillorship candidate, Awakan, of the All Progressives Congress (APC), who worked hard toward winning the councillorship election even without opposition. He obtained the form, duly filled the form and submitted same to the commission. OYSIEC under Ajeigbe screened him and declared him suitable to contest the Ito/Koso Ward 5 seat of ATISBO South LCDA…”