The Governor of Ondo State, Rotimi Akeredolu has taken a swipe at the Governor of Oyo State, and Chairman of the PDP National Campaign Council for the Governorship election in the state, Seyi Makinde for rejecting the Vice-Chancellor of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Professor Eyitope Ogunbodede, as the Returning Officer for Saturday’s governorship election.
Akeredolu stated that by his submission, Gov Makinde exhibited ignorance of the workings of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and pushed a wrong narrative into public domain.
Governor Makinde had earlier confirmed the PDPs rejection of the vice-chancellor of OAU at a press briefing in Akure, saying that Ogunbodede is from Owo local government area of Ondo State, an area where Governor Akeredolu, who is the APC candidate in the election, also hails from.
The Oyo State governor claimed the vice-chancellor was a known crony of Akeredolu and would not be neutral in the governorship electoral process.
While reacting to Makinde’s rejection of the OAU VC as Returning Officer, Akeredolu who issued a statement on Thursday through the Spokesperson, Akeredolu/Aiyedatiwa Campaign Organisation, Olabode Richard Olatunde, said; “it is forgivable for the PDP in Ondo State to continue to raise false alarm and make spurious allegations over the election, it is inexcusable for a Governor like Seyi Makinde to market ignorance in such a shameful manner. This ridicules, in no small measure, the exalted office of Governor.”
Olatunde in the statement further emphasized that “As at the time he raised the objection, INEC had not even announced the appointment of a Retuning Officer for this Saturday’s election. We cannot but wonder how and where Governor Makinde in particular, got the information.
“Governor Makinde, as a member of the Nigerian council of State, ought to know that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) does not, and shall never appoint a Returning Officer who is an indigene to administer elections. No indigene of Ondo State can ever be made a Returning Officer.
“By this pedestrian dance, Governor Makinde has shown himself to be a disgrace to public decency and the office he is holding.
“For us in the All Progressive Congress (APC) and the Akeredolu/Aiyedatiwa Campaign Organisation, we believe in fairness and credibility. Our trust in INEC on a free, fair and credible election on Saturday remains undoubted.
“Therefore, we urge the people of the state to disregard the ignorance exhibited by the PDP and Governor Seyi Makinde while getting set to participate in the election on Saturday,” the statement concluded.
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