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Akeredolu slam Makinde over allegation of bias in appointment of INEC returning officer

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Ondo State Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, has slammed his Oyo State counterpart, Seyi Makinde over his claim that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has appointed an ally of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) as returning officer for the Saturday governorship election.

Akeredolu, who is the flagbearer of the APC for the Saturday, October 10 governorship election, said the statement from Makinde that INEC has appointed his kinsman, Professor Eyitope Ogunbodede as INEC returning officer for the election is evidence that his Oyo State counterpart is being economical with the truth.

Ogunbodede is the Vice-Chancellor of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State. He hails from Owo, ditto Akeredolu.

Speaking through the Spokesperson of his campaign Council, Mr. Richard Olatunde, Akeredolu said Makinde, being a member of the Nigerian Council of State, should know that INEC would never, under any circumstance, appoint an indigene of the State as a Retuning Officer but the Oyo Governor circumvented truth and decency for political exigencies.

“We find as unfortunate, the statement credited to the Governor of Oyo State and Chairman of the PDP National Campaign Council for the Governorship election in Ondo State, Seyi Makinde, rejecting the Vice-Chancellor of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Professor Eyitope Ogunbodede, as the Chief Returning Officer for Saturday’s Governorship election in Ondo State,” Akeredolu said.

“While it is forgivable for the PDP in Ondo State to continue to raise a 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.

“As at the time he raised the objection, INEC had not even announced the appointment of a Returning 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.”

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