Guber candidates reject Oluomo’s involvement in polls logistics
Governorship candidates in Lagos State, yesterday, kicked against the plan by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to use the Parks Management Committee (PMC) led by Musiliu Akinsanya (a.k.a. MC Oluomo) for election logistics on February 25 and March 11.
Speaking in Lagos, yesterday, the candidates threatened legal action, if such decision is not reversed. They include Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour of Labour Party (LP), Olawale Oluwo of Boot Party (BP), Funso Doherty of Action Democratic Congress (ADC) and Taofeeq Uthman of Social Democratic Party (SDP).
According to Rhodes-Vivour, the determinant factor of the credibility of any electoral processes is the integrity of the electoral umpire, noting that once an electoral umpire lacks integrity and is biased in delivering its duty, such person inadvertently weakens the credibility of the process.
He said: “This institution (PMC) is headed by MC Oluomo; someone that is known to hold massive rally for the presidential candidate of the All Democratic Party (APC), Bola Tinubu. This is someone who has taken full charge of the institution.
“We are here to engage the public, that this is unacceptable and we must find another solution to moving electoral materials in Lagos.”
The LP candidate argued that the Commission’s intention to engage operators of Lagos parks to distribute sensitive election materials was laced with challenges, due to the association’s partisanship.
“Relying on partisan institutions to manage an election, in which they are an interested party, is not only mischievous but ridiculous. It is not something that we are going to accept,” he declared.
On his part, Doherty noted one of the biggest concerns of the electorate as ensuring that their votes count.
His words: “When you think about the electoral process, one of the most critical things is the chain of custody of election materials. If you cannot guarantee the custody of election materials, it is not right to subject that custody to an agency governed and controlled by the ruling party and headed by an individual, who has been a staunch supporter of the ruling party.”
Oluwo said after speaking with his constituents in almost all the local councils in the state, the feedback was that of apprehension that the INEC decision, if carried out, would not ensure a free and fair election.
“Lagos people have rejected it and the only person that is yet to reject it is the Resident Electoral Commission (REC). Lagos is not like other states; it is the largest state in the country in terms of registered voters and the commercial capital of the country. When you talk about Lagos, you are talking about Nigeria and we must be careful because if we mismanage the election in Lagos, the chances are that it can mar the exercise nationwide.”
He urged the INEC Chairman Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, to address the issue and ensure a peaceful and credible election.