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We Can Only Participate In LG Poll If You Use BVAS — Oyo APC Tells OYSIEC

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The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Oyo state has threatened to withdraw all its candidates from the forthcoming local government council election if the Oyo State Independent Electoral Commission (OYSIEC) failed to guarantee the usage of Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) for the poll.

Most of the registered political parties in the country have indicated their readiness to participate in the election slated for April 27 with OYSIEC assuring the public that it would be fair in its conduct against the background of insinuation that the electoral body was set up to do the bidding of the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

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In a statement issued at the weekend and made available to journalists in Ibadan by its Publicity Secretary, Olawale Sadare, Oyo APC expressed concerns over what it described as “game of deceit being played by OYSIEC over the need to deploy BVAS machines for the April and also show the whole world that it was not out to do the bidding of the ruling PDP as it happened the last time when candidates of other parties were denied their earned victory particularly in Ido and Ibarapa East local government councils.

“We have watched with dismay the lip service being paid, by OYSIEC, to the issue of BVAS required for the smooth conduct of the poll. The Commission is apparently under pressure to jettison the usage of BVAS because the ruling PDP is averse to it even as the powers-that-be in the state are prepared to compromise the April poll in their bid to ensure all the candidates of the PDP win at all cost.

“It is a height of insincerity on the part of OYSIEC to hide the status of any request made to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on the release of the machines for the planned poll even as we have been reliably informed that INEC does not have any reason to turn down such request if properly and genuinely made. Apart from the fact that the devices are owned by Nigerians, INEC is committed to the conduct of credible elections and the Commission is ever ready to assist the cause within and outside Nigeria.

“Oyo APC took a bold decision to field candidates in this election basically for two reasons; to deepen our democracy at the grassroots level and also to rescue the third tier of government which has been rendered useless by the current PDP administration. Consequently, that PDP is paranoid today is understandable and we use this medium to restate our commitment the cause of constitutional democracy and good governance. However, we are concerned about the palpable desperation in the camp of the ruling party in their bid to sustain the status quo which does not augur well for the masses.

“As a matter of fact, we have observed that the Chairman of OYSIEC might not be able to be fair to all parties as he is wont to do for obvious reasons. The fact that the PDP elements are averse to BVAS is responsible for the failure of OYSIEC to announce to the world that the machines would be used for the election. At this juncture, we are stating it categorically that Oyo APC would not be a party to any sham or charade and should the election body fail to guarantee the usage of BVAS for the April poll, they should count us out.” Sadare added.

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