Saturday, 12 May 2018

OYO COUNCIL POLL: A Show of Shame and Stage-Managed Fraud!

SPN name and logo appeared on the ballot paper even when its candidate was denied a nomination form by OYSIEC

The Socialist Party of Nigeria, SPN, Oyo State chapter, has described the May 12 council poll in Oyo State as a huge show of shame and stage-managed fraud. We demand that this charade and monumental fraud should be challenged by the mass of the people. As we earlier pointed out, the May 12, 2018 Local Government election is a nullity owing to the fact that it was conducted on the basis of OYSIEC created electoral areas in violation of section 148 of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. In addition, the crude manner the SPN candidate for Ibadan South West chairmanship position was denied nomination form in a deliberate effort to prevent genuine political alternative to be presented in the election only for SPN name and logo to appear in the ballot papers further confirms the monumental fraud the May 12 Local Government election is.

In this regard, we of the SPN hereby demand new and democratic Local Government elections conducted in accordance with the requirements of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and with fair opportunities for all parties and candidates including the SPN and its candidate. We call on all people of Oyo state who are equally disaffected with the illegality and fraud that took place on May 12 2018 in the name of elections to join us in the SPN to challenge this charade.

The turnout of the electorate in the election was reportedly so poor in most polling units especially in Ibadan and its environs.

In ward 4 polling unit 10 in Ibadan South West LGA for instance, only 10 people out of the 720 registered electorates were accredited and voted as at of 2:45pm when it was less than 25mins for the voting exercise itself to come to an end. This is just a glimpse of the poor turn-out that characterised the election. The apathy was said to be so high that, the APC agents were compelled according to a live radio report of the election on splash FM, 105.5, to be moving from house to house canvassing the electorate to come out to vote even while the election was on-going. This act is against the election  guideline which stipulates among other things that there must not be any form of campaign on the day of the election. At the same time, it shows that the level of mass disaffection among the working people with the capitalist political establishment in the state is very high.

The report also has it that only the APC agents were seen in most polling units. This is an indication that all other political parties the OYSIEC claimed  are participating in the election were actually mobilised by the APC through a pseudo platform tagged CNPP and IPAC to give an impression that the election itself is participatory. Except SPN which embarked on street to street campaign in Ibadan south west local government where its members were sponsored as candidates for the chairmanship and vice-chairmanship position before it had to pull out of the exercise, none of the other 11 political parties OYSIEC claimed are part of the election ever carried out any campaign during the pre-election period.
Obviously, both the OYSIEC and Oyo State APC-led government were threatened by the active involvement of SPN and its critical attitude towards all of the undemocratic conduct of OYSIEC. This explains why SPN candidate was denied nomination form by OYSIEC after being subjected to the rigour of a screening exercise during which he was certified eligible to stand as candidate in the election.

However, despite the fact that SPN candidate was denied  nomination form, the OYSIEC still went ahead to include both the name and logo of the SPN in the election ballot paper. This show that the denial was deliberate to prevent the SPN from being officially part of the election while the name and logo was decided to be included in the ballot paper with a view to use the name of the party to give a credibility to the election.

This is an electoral fraud committed by OYSIEC against our great party SPN. This is condemnable and further underscore the fact that the state electoral body will continue to be incapable to conduct a credible local government election as long as it continues to be an appendage of the state government and the ruling party.

To bring an end to this unfortunate situation explains why we of the SPN will continue to canvass for the democratisation of state and national electoral bodies  whose membership will be derived from the elected representatives of trade unions, youth and professional organisations, trade and artisan associations including the community associations like residents association.  Only elections conducted by electoral bodies with the above outlined membership and character that is are capable of conducting election that will reflect the true aspiration and expectation of the people either at the state or national level.

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