The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has rejected Vice-Chancellor of the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Prof. Eyitope Ogungbenro Ogunbodede, as Chief Returning Officer of Saturday’s governorship election in Ondo.
The party alleged Ondo residents cannot get free and fair elections with the present composition of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Chairman of the PDP National Campaign Council, Governor Seyi Makinde, who spoke at a briefing in Akure, said Ogunbodede was a known crony of Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu and hails from Owo, the hometown of Akeredolu.
Makinde, who insisted that Ogunbodede would not be a fair umpire in the proceedings by virtue of his association with Akeredolu, called on INEC to immediately replace him.
Makinde said OAU Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) Prof. A S Bamire, who conducted the training of Returning Officers was not a neutral party for the purpose of Saturday’s election.
The Oyo Governor threatened that anybody that attempted to rig Saturday’s election would be reported to the international community.
He said they were crying out because once the Returning Officer made a pronouncement, it would resort to going to the tribunal.
“Why did INEC bring somebody from Owo? Why go to OAU? Are there no other universities? We don’t want Ondo people to be cheated.
“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 States, and the United Kingdom and indeed all allies of democracy to call INEC to order.
“We call on all security agencies in Ondo State allow themselves to be used as a tool against the will of the people.
“We commend you for all you have done so far providing the needed support and security for our candidate and our people.
“We urge you to do more. Don’t forget that history and posterity have never been kind to anyone who allow themselves to be used as a tool for injustice.
“We urge you to read the mood of the people and act accordingly. Politicians may come and go, but the people will always remain. Remember, the world is watching.”