The Ondo State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has kicked against the appointment of Proffessor Eyitope Ogunbodede, the Vice-Chancellor of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, as the the Chief Returning Officer for Saturday’s governorship election in Ondo State.
The party expressed displeasure on Thursday through its Chairman, National Campaign Council of the PDP, who is also the Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, at a press briefing in Akure, the Ondo State capital.
According to Makinde, Ogunbodede is from Owo Local Government Area like Governor Rotimi Akeredolu, who is the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Although INEC has not announced Ogunbodede, Makinde said the party has known that the VC had been selected and also claimed the VC is a known crony of Akeredolu and would not be neutral.
Makinde said, “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.
“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,” he concluded.
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