The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has rejected the appointment of Prof. Eyitope Ogunbodede, the Vice-Chancellor of the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile Ife, as the Chief Returning Officer for Saturday governorship election in Ondo State.
The party said Prof. Ogunbodede is a crony of Rotimi Akeredolu, the incumbent Governor and candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC) for the polls.
Speaking at a press briefing in Akure on Thursday, Seyi Makinde, Governor of Oyo State and Chairman, National Campaign Council of the PDP, said the OAU VC hails from Owo, the same hometown as Governor Akeredolu, hence cannot be a fair party in the proceedings by virtue of their association.
Makinde therefore called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to replace Prof. Ogunbodede with a disinterested party.
“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 as presently composed will be overseeing the elections,” said the PDP National Campaign Council Chairman.
“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.”
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