By Jubril Bada
Ondo State Independent Electoral Commission (ODIEC) has declared that the December 16, 2023 announced for the conduct of Local Government election in the state was not political and has nothing to do with the 2023 general elections.
It added that the conduct of the election next year is sacrosanct.
The State Chairman of the Commission, Prof Yomi Dinakin stated this during a stakeholders’ meeting at the headquarters of the Commission in Akure, the state capital.
Dinakin explained that the announced date for the conduct of the election was in accordance with the Electoral Act 2022 which provides not later than 360 days before the election.
Recall that the Commission had earlier announced the date for conduct of the election.
Dinakin, who was represented by the Commissioner in-charge of Media and Publicity, Mr. Rotimi Olorunfemi, assured that the election date was real and not a paper work.
While assuring the political parties of fairness and level playing field during the election, Dinakin asked them to put the Commission to public scrutiny if acted contrary to its plans for the election.
He made it known that the ODIEC is in partnership with security agencies to prevent attack on its facilities across the 18 local government areas in the state.
On the charges to be levied on forms to be sold to aspirants , he said it will be discussed with political parties within the purview of the law.
Speaking, the Commissioner in-charge of Budget,Cash Allocation and Operation, Mr.Dele Akinyelure, said the election has been budgeted for and the Commission is ready to conduct credible poll.
Akinyelure urged political parties to ensure they conduct their primaries between April 10 and June 10, 2023 as stipulated in the timetable for the election to avoid being screened out ahead of the election.
He explained that primaries to produce candidates for the election by the political parties must be conducted 180 days to the election,saying that the Commission can not afford to adjust the timetable to run foul of Electoral Act.
The Representatives of National Orientation Agency, Nigeria Immigration Service, Nigeria Prison Service, Department of State Services, Western Nigeria Security Network codenamed Amotekun, Intet-Party Advisory Council, and the electoral officers for local government of the Commission were present at the meeting.