By Babs-Oluribigbe Adeoye
The Peoples Democratic Party has rejected the purported appointment of Prof Eyitope Ogunbodede, the Vice Chancellor of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife as the State Returning Officer for Ondo governorship election holding on Saturday.
The Chairman, National Campaign Council for the Ondo State governorship election, Seyi Makinde told journalists in Akure, the state capital that his party has been informed that the VC had been selected
Makinde said Ogunbodede is from Owo Local Government Area like Governor Rotimi Akeredolu, who is the candidate of the All Progressives Congress. He claimed the VC is a known crony of Akeredolu and would not be neutral.
“It has come to our notice that the people of Ondo State will not be getting free and fair election 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”, Makinde said.
“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.”
PDP therefore called on the 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 center 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 to allow themselves to be used as a tool against the will of the people.”