LG polls: Parties express readiness
By Jubril Bada & Saheed Ibrahim
As the people of Ondo State prepare for the April 18 2020 Local Government elections across the 203 wards in the state, some political parties have expressed their readiness to participate in the election.
Among the major political parties that are ready to participate in the election announced by the State Independent Electoral Commission, ODIEC, are; the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Peoples Democratic Movement (PDM), Democratic People’s Party (DPP) and People’s Democratic for Change (PDC).
ODIEC had announced April 18 as date for the local government election in the state during its stakeholders’ meeting held at the commission’s office last week.
However, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Zenith Labour Party (ZLP), All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), and Accord Party (AP) are yet to publicly show interest on the election at the time of filling this report.
In separate interviews with The Hope, some of the political parties that indicated interest in participating in the poll described the plan by ODIEC to conduct the local government election this year after it was aborted in 2018, as a welcome development.
The State Director, Media and Publicity of the APC, Mr. Steve Otaloro disclosed that preparation was in top gear.
Otaloro stated that the stakeholders within the APC would soon meet to decide its plan and strategies for the election.
He noted that the party would build on the earlier preparation made in 2018, adding that political parties should not see the short notice given as an excuse not to participate.
Also, the State Chairman of Peoples Democratic Movement, Mr. Oluwole Fagboro, said the party would participate in the election, adding that it would avail them the opportunity to elect their choice of leaders from various opposition parties.
While calling on the ODIEC to give level playing field to all political parties in the coming election, Fagboro said the call for the resignation of Prof Yomi Dinakin, the commission’s boss was a personal opinion of the state Chairman of the Mega Party, Biyi Poroye, not the general opinion of all political parties.
The State Chairman of the Democratic Progressive Party, DPP, Mr. Lawrence Kehinde commended the commission for eventually fixing a date for the election, adding that the poll was long overdue.
“It is a good development, because we have been agitating for it. Now that the ODIEC is ready, we will going to participate in the election”, he said.
Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Change, PDC, Mr. Lawrence Oyebamiji also indicated the readiness of the majority of his party members to participate in the election.
According to him, “We are ready to participate and to carry our party and people along because local government is a closer government to the people”.
The State Director of Media and Publicity of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr. Zadok Akintoye said his party is yet to make known its official decision on the election.
Akintoye told The Hope that a meeting would soon be held where position regarding the election would be taken.
Also, the State Chairman of the Social Democratic Party, Chief Korede Duyile said his party would only participate in the election on the condition that it will be credible.
According to him, “We will agree to participate based on the condition of credibility. If the condition is met, then we will participate, but if it is not, we will not waste our time”.
Similarly, the State Chairman of Action Democratic Party, ADP, Mr. Adebiyi Adesida declared the readiness of the party for the election provided the poll would be a transparent exercise.
In their own reactions the Zenith Labour Party, (ZLP) and the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), said they were still studying the situation and the sincerity of ODIEC, so as to avoid a repetition of the aborted 2018 election.
Speaking for the two parties, the Chairman of the APGA, Mr. Niran Toyin and the Assistant Secretary of the ZLP, Mr. Davis Akinbote disclosed that they would to consult with their party members, especially at the grassroots, so as to take their final decisions regarding the election.
The Chairman of Accord Party (AP), Dr. Ajibola Falaiye expressed doubt in the constitutional right of ODIEC to conduct the council poll, citing the recent Supreme Court judgement that restricted States Independent Electoral Commissions from conducting council elections in the country and entrusted the responsibility only to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).