Seyi Makinde, governor of Oyo State and Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party National Campaign Council for Info State Governorship election, has rejected Prof Eyitope Ogunbodede as the Independent National Electoral Commission Chief Returning Officer for the exercise.
According to Makinde during a press conference in Akure, the Ondo State capital, on Thursday, the October 10 poll won’t be free and fair if the electoral commission as presently composed will oversee the exercise.
INEC is, however, yet to disclose the name of the collation officer for Saturday’s governorship election in the state.
Makinde said, “However, 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, Vice Chancellor of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, as 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 Prof A. S. Bamire, 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 afflliations with any of the participating parties in the election.”
Eyitayo Jegede is the candidate of the PDP for the Saturday’s governorship election in the State.