The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has kicked against INEC’s redeployment of Kayode Soremekun, who was returning officer (RO) during Edo state gubernatorial election, as RO for Saturday’s gubernatorial election in Ondo State.
The PDP alleged that Mr Soremekun, who is the Vice Chancellor of the Federal University, Oye Ekiti, connived with the All Progressives Congress (APC) to “rig” the Edo state governorship election that saw candidate of the APC, Godwin Obaseki, win.
Publicity Secretary of the Ondo State PDP, Banji Okunomo, claimed that some of the officials used in “rigging” the Edo state elections were seen being escorted by security operatives to the state capital, Akure, on Friday.
“This is uncalled for and a further attestation to the All Progressives Congress’ (APC) desperation to rig the governorship election in favour of its candidate. We will not accept this,” he said in a statement on Thursday.
“It would be recalled that these same people were the ones used by the APC to manipulate the Edo State election which, today, is being described as one of the most fraudulent elections in the history of the nation’s democracy.”
“It is rather unfortunate that the INEC in Ondo State would heed the instructions given by its defacto Chairman, Mrs Amina Zakari to use the Edo State template for Ondo State.
“Just like the experience in Edo State, the PDP has gathered that results have already been written for Prof. Soremekun and his team to announce after the election,” he said.
“There are so many University Dons of repute in Nigeria. If at all the INEC is constrained financially, it could still make do with Vice Chancellors of nearby Federal Universities in Osun, Oyo and even Edo States.
“Apparently, Prof Soremekun is not the only Vice Chancellor in Nigeria and there is no reason why he should be INEC’s choice again especially considering his controversial role in the rigging of the recently held Edo Election,” he said.
“We must let the INEC know that much as Ondo State people are peace loving, we would not allow any form of misdemeanour on the part of INEC or its agents. We would resist any attempt to manipulate the election result.
“We reject any form of advanced rigging in the Ondo State governorship election and want the electoral umpire to be unbiased for the sake of peace during and after the poll.
“We remain resolute in our commitment to building our democracy. However, we call on the electorate to be at alert till the final results of the election are announced,” he said.