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Confusion in Oyo over purported by-election

Posted by By AKEEB ALARAPE, Ibadan on 2007/01/09 | Views: 498 |

Confusion in Oyo over purported by-election

Officials of political parties, including the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Oyo State, Monday, described as fraud any plan by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), to conduct by-elections into 12 seats of the Oyo State House of Assembly, saying nobody has discussed the matter with them.

Officials of political parties, including the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Oyo State, Monday, described as fraud any plan by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), to conduct by-elections into 12 seats of the Oyo State House of Assembly, saying nobody has discussed the matter with them.

Their outcry was coming on the heels of an advice by the embattled Speaker of the House of Assembly, Hon. Adeolu Adeleke, to the Chairman of INEC, Professor Maurice Iwu, that he should not allow himself to be used by some desperate politicians, who had lost the confidence of their people.
Last Sunday, an unsigned document, on the letter-head paper of INEC, and faxed to media houses, had declared vacant the 12 seats of the lawmakers opposed to the controversial impeachment of the state governor, Senator Rasidi Ladoja, on 12 January 2006, and fixed next Saturday, January 13 for by-elections into the purportedly vacant seats.

Speaking with newsmen in Ibadan Monday, Adeleke, who was accompanied by all members of G12, also urged President Olusegun Obasanjo not to close his eyes to the political imbroglio rocking Oyo State since the state is an integral part of the country.

"I just want to tell Professor Iwu not to allow himself to be used by some desperate politicians to truncate this democracy. Iwu is a knowledgeable person. He is a professor and should obey the rule of law. He should remember that whatever he does today will be history tomorrow.

"We have fought hard to ensure that Ladoja is back in office and we cannot, at this point, abandon him through any political tricks. I know there is divine intervention in all that is happening in Oyo State and the same God that brought Ladoja back is still there. I want everybody to know this", the embattled Speaker stated.

While condemning the actions of his estranged colleagues of Group 19, who, he said, had turned the hallowed chamber of the House to a drinking joint where miscreants drank and smoked Indian hemp unchallenged, all in a bid to unleash violence in the state, Adeleke called on President Obasanjo, as father of the nation, to quickly intervene before the crisis degenerated further.

"For Godís sake, we are not part of the Republic of Benin. We are Nigerians. The President should treat us as part of this country and quickly wade into this matter by putting things in the right perspective", he pleaded.

Meanwhile, party officials at the Oyo State offices of the Action Congress (AC), New Democrats (ND), Alliance for Democracy (AD) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), told newsmen that they were yet to be informed about planned by-elections less than a week to the purported exercise.
Vice-chairman of AC in Oyo State, Hon Lasun Odebunmi, AD State Publicity Secretary, Prince Abass Alesinloye and Elder Gideon Abiodun Amuwo, Administrative Secretary of PDP in the state, all denied any knowledge that the 12 seats of the House of Assembly have been declared vacant and by-elections fixed for Saturday.

"We have not been informed and if they (INEC) want to do such thing, they must inform us. We have not received any information as regard that matter. Mind you, it is not PDP affair alone. All political parties must be briefed, allowed to nominate and even campaign before such by-elections. INEC must brief all the parties and nobody has done that", Hon Odebunmi stated.

He dismissed the circular being circulated around the city as it was unsigned.
Alesinloye, on his own part, stated that nobody had briefed him on the development and that there was no official information from INEC informing AD about the planned by-election in the state.
Administrative Secretary of PDP, Elder Amuwo, said the whole thing "is still speculative."

The office of INEC in the state maintained its earlier position that nothing has been communicated to it over the purported by-election. Although, the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) was not available when reporters visited his office, senior officials of the electoral body denied any knowledge of a planned by-election on Saturday.
Image-maker of INEC in the state, Mr Ayodele Folami said: "As at 12.30pm that I am talking to you and to the best of my knowledge, we are yet to receive any information from our head office about any by-election on Saturday".

In a related development, Governor Rasidi Ladoja of Oyo State, is scheduled to meet with the two factions of the Oyo State House of Assembly in his bid to reconcile the warring members.
Ladojaís meeting with the lawmakers will be the second since he resumed to his office on 11 December 2005, after 11months of his controversial impeachment.

At their sitting Monday, the 18 lawmakers, who spearheaded Ladojaís removal last year, agreed to meet with the governor but said not with their 13 colleagues, who were against the impeachment, in attendance.

They insisted, despite court judgments proving otherwise, that the seats of the 13 pro-Ladoja lawmakers remained vacant as proclaimed by them.
Meanwhile, confusion rocked the camp of embattled deputy-governor of the state, Otunba Adebayo Alao-Akala, as the state government relocated his official office and staff from the Governorís Office main building to the Ministry of Environment, about a kilometre away.

The relocation of the deputy-governorís office, Daily Sun learnt, was to forestall any possible breakdown of law and order any time the deputy-governor resumed from his leave.
It was also learnt that the move was in compliance with earlier directive by Akala himself when he was having problem with the staff of his then deputy, Alhaji Hazeem Gbolarumi, whose domestic staff once beat his Special Adviser on Communication and Strategy, Mr Diran Odeyemi.

But Director of Media and Strategy of Akala Campaign Organization, Prince Dotun Oyelade, described the relocation of the office of his boss as a negation of the reconciliation drive of Ladoja.
Oyelade, who spoke to Daily Sun on phone, said the action has shown that the reconciliation moves by Ladoja was a ruse.

But when asked whether Akala himself has reached out to Ladoja since his boss resumed for work on 11 December, Oyelade said only Akala and Ladoja could speak on that aspect as he was only speaking for Akala 2007 Organization.

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Comments (23)

emilia(Lagos, Lagos, Nigeria)says...

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