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Oyo community, INEC lock horns over relocation of collation centre

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Ogbosomoso community in Oyo State and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) are at daggers drawn over the relocation of Oyo North collation centre.

As a result of a petition received against the siting of Oyo North collation centre at Iseyin, in Oke-Ogun zone, INEC was forced to organise a stakeholders’ meeting yesterday in the area.

A petition dated December 19, 2018, addressed to the chairman of the commission alleged that INEC relocated Oyo North collation centre from Ogbomoso to Iseyin in 2015 without any notice.

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The petitioners claimed that collation of election results from the senatorial district from 1979 to 2011 elections took place in Ogbomoso, hence they requested the commission to restore the collation centre.

In his presentation on behalf of Ogbomoso zone, Dr. Saka Balogun stressed that the relocation of the centre from Ogbomoso “smacks of injustice, unfairness and abridgement of subsisting right of Ogbomoso community”.

But Dr. Olusegun Ajuwon, who read the presentation of Oke-Ogun community, asserted that Iseyin was suitable and ideal to be the collation centre for Oyo North.

He stated that the people of Oke-Ogun zone, which comprises 10 of the 13 councils in Oyo North, strongly opposed the return of the centre to Ogbomoso.

However, the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Oyo, Mr. Mutiu Agboke, noted that the commission’s state office was used as collation centre for the three senatorial districts during the 1999, 2003 and 2007 National Assembly elections.

Agboke further said that INEC headquarters, through a letter to all the RECs in 2014, confirmed that the collation centre of Oyo North was the council secretariat in Iseyin.

He, however, promised that the presentations of both Oke-Ogun and Ogbomoso communities would be harmonised and sent to the commission headquarters in Abuja for action.

He also commended the communities for the maturity displayed during the meeting and urged them to sustain the peace.

Among the traditional rulers that attended the meeting were the Bagijan of Ilaji-Ile, Oba Lawal Oyedepo; and the Alabaa of Ogbomoso land, Oba John Ayanpoju.

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