The Peoples Democratic Party Ondo State Governorship National Campaign Council has rejected the appointment of the Vice Chancellor of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Prof Eyitope Ogungbenro Ogunbodede, as the Chief Returning Officer of Saturday’s Ondo State governorship election.
The Chairman of the council and the Oyo State Governor, Engr Seyi Makinde, said that Ogunbodede is the kinsman of the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Governor Rotimi Akeredolu.
Addressing newsmen in Akure, Makinde said “it has come to our notice that the people of Ondo State will not be getting free and fair elections if the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), as presently composed, will be overseeing the elections.
“We are speaking in particular about the appointment of Prof Eyitope Ogungbenro Ogunbodede, the Vice Chancellor of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, as the Chief Returning Officer of the Ondo State Governorship election.
“The PDP totally rejects Prof Eyitope Ogungbenro Ogunbodede acting as Chief Returning Officer.
“He is a known crony of Rotimi Akeredolu, SAN, candidate of the All Progressives Congress and hails from Owo, the same hometown as the candidate.
“He cannot be a fair party in the proceedings by virtue of their association.
“We also want to state that Professor A. S. Bamire, the deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, who conducted the training of returning officers is not a neutral party for the purpose of this election.
“We, therefore, call on INEC to stay true to their name and replace Prof Eyitope Ogungbenro Ogunbodede with a disinterested party. The Chief Returning Officer should have no affiliations with any of the participating parties in the elections.
“We also take this opportunity to call on all lovers of democracy around the world to pay attention to what the APC led administration in the centre is trying to do in Ondo State.
“We call on the United Nations, the European Union, the United State and the United Kingdom and indeed all allies of democracy to call INEC to order.
“We call on all security agencies in Ondo State not to allow themselves to be used as a tool against the will of the people.
“We commend you for all you have done so far providing the needed support and security for our candidate and our people.
“We urge you to do more. Don’t forget that history and posterity have never been kind to anyone who allowed themselves to be used as a tool for injustice.
“We urge you to read the mood of the people and act accordingly. Politicians may come and go, but the people will always remain. Remember, the world is watching”, Makinde said.
He added, “We won’t accept this. We don’t want the people of Ondo State to be cheated”.
He called on the security agencies to read the mood of the people of the state and do what’s right on Saturday, adding that “The world is watching us”.
Meanwhile, the PDP National Campaign Council for Ondo Governorship election has revealed that with all critical indices, the PDP candidate, Eyitayo Jegede SAN, will defeat his APC counterpart, Governor Rotimi Akeredolu on Saturday.
The Chairman of the PDP Campaign’s Publicity Sub-Committee, Kola Ologbondiyan, in an interview on AIT programme, Kakaki, yesterday morning, revealed that Governor Akeredolu’s poor governance as well as anti-people policies of denying the people of their rights to health, education and economic benefits, have irredeemably pitched him against voters.
This is coming on the heels of Governor Akeredolu’s open declaration that the PDP candidate, Eyitayo Jegede, is fit, capable and trusted hand to manage the affairs of the state as governor.
Akeredolu, in a recent interview on Arise TV agreed that Eyitayo Jegede is a competent hand to lead the state.
In endorsing Jegede, Akeredolu, described the PDP candidate as “worthy of the office”; a statement that conveys Akeredolu’s readiness to concede defeat after being voted out on Saturday.
However, appearing on Kakaki, Ologbondiyan stressed that the overwhelming demography of voters, have rejected Akeredolu’s self-serving administration for its wicked policies including the increase in school fees by over 100 percent and stopping of the “Mother and Child” health program, established by previous administration to bring succour to the poor, even in the face of prevailing harsh economic situation in the country.
This is in addition to the entrenching of a corrupt system through which resources meant for the ordinary citizens are allegedly being frittered by his cronies and relations, the latest being the failure of the administration to account for the Covid-19 intervention fund released to the state.
According to Ologbondiyan, “Governor Akeredolu went against the heart of the expectation and values of the Ondo people. Education, welfarism for the poor, particularly their health and economic empowerment are at the core expectation of the people but Governor Akeredolu’s administration went against all of them.”
Ologbondiyan recalled that the low fee education system as well as the mother and child program were part of the welfarist policies of the past administration in which Eyitayo Jegede served as the Attorney General.
He said the PDP candidate is set to restore all welfarist programs in addition to entrenching other people-oriented policies in an all-inclusive government, immediately he is elected into office as governor.
The PDP campaign stressed that the Eyitayo Jegede’s practical and people-driven manifesto had led the majority of Ondo people to reach a consensus to vote him in as their new governor.
The campaign therefore urged President Muhammadu Buhari not to succumb to pressure by the APC to interfere in the election but ensure a reinforcement of his stance of non-interference in elections, as witnessed in the Edo governorship election, which brought him applause across board.
He also urged INEC and security agencies to respect the wish of the people by ensuring the sanctity of the ballot box in addition to transmitting of results directly from the polling unit.
Obasanjo, Abdulsalami, Sultan, Others Brainstorm On Insecurity
Rising insecurity and agitations for secession by different ethnic groups across Nigeria has attracted the attention of elder statesmen and other national leaders to a meeting in Abuja.
The meeting was organised by Interfaith Initiatives for Peace jointly led by the Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, and Emeritus Cardinal John Onaiyekan, and the National Peace Committee chaired by Gen Abdulsalami Abubakar (rtd).
Reporters were barred from taking part in the closed-door meeting, expected to proffer solutions to the ongoing security challenges threatening the peace and unity of the country.
It was also an exploratory meeting on pressing issues of national unity, security, peace, integration, economic revitalisation and development, women and youth welfare and general progress.
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo; former Head of State, General Abdulsalam Abubakar (rtd); Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar; Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi; Tor Tiv, Prof Ortese Iorzua James Ayatse, Emeritus Cardinal John Onaiyekan; President General (Ohanaeze Ndigbo), Prof George Obiozor; and Afenifere leader, Ayo Adebanjo; were all in attendance.
Others sighted at the meeting are President of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Ayuba Wabba; CAN General Secretary, Joseph Daramola; JAMB Registrar, Prof Ishaq Oloyede; Etsu Nupe, Yahya Abubakar; former Minister of Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbe, among several political and traditional rulers at the meeting.
Elder statesmen, Chief Edwin Clark, also attended the event at the Congress Hall of Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja, but could not participate in the meeting because he could not climb the staircase to the meeting room.
Fighting Corruption Difficult In Democratic Setting, Buhari Laments
President Muhammadu Buhari says fighting corruption in democratic setting is a difficult task to accomplish.
The president disclosed this during an interview with Arise Television which was televised, yesterday.
According to him, the war against corruption has not been easy for him since he became a democratically elected president six years ago.
He, however, stressed that his administration had succeeded in easing out corrupt public officials without making noise about it.
Buhari recalled that much was achieved in the fight against corruption when he was military Head of State in the early 80s “when a lot of people were sent to prisons before I was also booted out”.
The president frowned at the way and manner local government system was being managed, saying the local government administration was almost non-existent in the country.
He cited situation where state governors continued to starve the local governments of funds saying “in a situation where N300million is allocated to local government and they are given N100million is not fair”.
On activities of bandits and kidnappers particularly in the North-West and North-Central zones, Buhari said he had given the police and Armed Forces the instructions to be ruthless with bandits and vandals terrorising innocent citizens across the country.
He stated that he had told the security agencies to treat bandits and other criminals in the “the language they understand.
“Problem in the north-west; you have people over there stealing each other’s cattle and burning each other’s villages.
“Like I said, we are going to treat them in the language they understand.
“We have given the police and the military the power to be ruthless. You watch it in a few weeks’ time there will be difference.
”Because we told them if we keep people away from their farm, we are going to starve. And the government can’t control the public.
“If you allow hunger, the government is going to be in trouble and we don’t want to be in trouble.
“We are already in enough trouble. So, we warn them sooner than later you’ll see the difference,’’ he said.
On farmers/herders clashes, the president said the problem had persisted because old cattle routes and grazing areas had been violated by development, adding that those who had taken over such traditional arrangements would be dispossessed.
On the fight against insurgency, Buhari dismissed the assertion that majority of Boko Haram members were foreigners.
According to him, the majority of the Boko Haram members are Nigerians, saying this was further corroborated by Borno State Governor, Prof Babagana Zulum.
The president stated that his administration had done a lot to fight the terrorists and insurgents but the problem in the “North-East is very difficult.”
Igboho Declares June 12 Day Of Protest, Warns Buhari
Sunday Adeyemo, popularly known as Sunday Igboho, has declared June 12 as day of protest for Yoruba nation agitators.
The self-acclaimed Yoruba activist said the agitators will hold ‘peaceful rallies’ across the South-West region on Saturday, June 12.
Igboho, who spoke through his spokesman, Olayomi Koiki, in a live video programme aired, last Wednesday night, called on South-West governors to cooperate with the peaceful protesters during the exercise.
He warned the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration not to attack the agitators.
He said, “Let us warn the Federal Government that if there is bloodshed this weekend, the international community is watching, if the military kills any Nigerian this weekend, it is going to be very hot.
“The Yoruba nation rally will go ahead in every part of Yoruba land and the rest of the country where it will hold.
“Red alarm will begin on Friday. People should stock up food Items from Friday night.
“We are not backing down this weekend; we are ready to take back what belongs to us.”
He also enjoined agitators to ‘fast’ on Friday.
This is coming after NANS under the leadership of its National President, Comrade Sunday Asefon, had declared June 12 as National Day of peaceful protest to call on the government to act decisively towards addressing insecurity.
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