No fewer that seventeen political parties have stormed the headquarters of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC in Abuja demanding that the Ondo governorship election, scheduled for Saturday, 26th be postponed.
The parties alleged that the level of insecurity in the state had risen to what they described as an unbearable level, thereby forcing their candidates to stop campaigning across the state.
Speaking on behalf of the other parties, the National Chairman of Labour Party, Alhaji Abdulkardri Abdusalam, stated that Nigeria could not afford to have Ondo State engulfed in “avoidable political crises orchestrated by a few individuals”.
In the speech titled, “The urgent need for postponing the Ondo State governorship election date to avoid inevitable crises,” Abdulsalam said that if the commission refused to postpone the election, they would take further steps in the shortest time.
Abdulasalam said, “Another critical concern is the growing level of violence and insecurity in the Ondo political environment prior to the governorship election on Saturday.
“In recognition of this ugly fact, we also take this opportunity to call on the relevant security agencies (the Police, DSS, NSCDC), to immediately put pressure on INEC to postpone the election date to a possible date after the court processes have been completed, but within the constitutional provisions, to guarantee a peaceful and healthy political environment for the election.
“In the Edo State governorship election, which held a few months ago, INEC upheld the candidacy of the Senator Ahmed Markarfi-led PDP as the authentic group to present a candidate for the party; now in the Ondo State governorship election slated for Saturday, the same electoral umpire is upholding the governorship candidacy of the Senator Sheriff-led faction of the party under the guise of obeying a court order.
“This quagmire must be resolved by the court even if this drags on to the Supreme Court before any meaningful election can take place in Ondo State.
“If INEC is blatantly intimidated into abdicating its basic function of monitoring and certifying the validity of party primary elections for the selection of candidates, and instead acquiesce by allowing the court to arbitrarily pick candidates without INEC-monitored primaries then our democracy is becoming gravely injured, needing urgent ambulatory care and political surgery.”
Other political parties which called for the postponement of the election on Monday included the United Progressives Party, National Conscience Party, African Democratic Congress, Peoples Redemption Party, Progressives Peoples Alliance and Peoples Party of Nigeria.
Others were the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria, Better Nigeria Progressive Party, Democratic Peoples Congress, Democratic Peoples Party, Peoples for Democratic Change, Peoples Party of Nigeria, United Democratic Party, Advance Congress of Democrats, Peoples Progressives Party and Independent Democrats.
Meanwhile, (INEC) has said the Ondo election will hold November 26 as scheduled.
Chief Press Secretary to INEC Chairman, Mr Rotimi Oyekanmi, speaking on behalf of his boss said, “INEC has no plan and does not intend to postpone the election.
“Preparations for the Ondo Governorship election started since March and 12 out of 14 activities planned for the poll have already been carried out.
“Besides, the grounds for postponing any election are enshrined in the Electoral Law and certainly, such calls for postponement is not one of the grounds.
“The 13th activity which is the Stakeholders’ Forum will hold on Tuesday in Akure, Ondo State. The Commission therefore will not postpone the election.”