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Akeredolu declares today work-free ahead of tomorrow’s poll

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• Jegede accuses Ondo govt of muffling opposition
• Laments lack of access to billboards, state media

Ahead of the local council election tomorrow in Ondo State, the state Independent Electoral Commission (ODIEC), has expressed its readiness to conduct free, credible and transparent election.

Chairman of the commission, Prof. Yomi Dinakin, gave the assurance at a media chat in Akure, yesterday, saying it will be COVID-19-compliant and violent-free.

Dinakin noted that 10 political parties had indicated interest to participate in the election, which will hold across the 18 local councils of the state.

But reacting to a report of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) refusing to participate in the election based on distrust, he said: “I don’t feel anything about PDP’s withdrawal. It will be better if all political parties participate.

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“But the electoral commission can’t force them. The PDP never indicated to participate in the election. All parties that indicated were given the opportunity to participate.”

Meanwhile, the state governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, has directed that today, August 21, 2020, should be observed as a work-free day.

According to him, the directive will enable residents of the state to have adequate time to prepare for the local council election scheduled to hold tomorrow, August 22, 2020.

In a statement by the state’s Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Donald Ojogo, he also urged the electorate to freely exercise their voting rights, imploring them to shun violence during the exercise.

In another development, prior to the commencement of governorship election campaign in Ondo State, the PDP candidate, Eyitayo Jegede, has flayed the state government for stifling opposition in the state.

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He accused the administration of Akeredolu, who is also the flagbearer of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), of political intolerance.

In a statement by Head of Media and Research, Eyitayo Jegede Campaign Organisation (EJCO), Mr. Samuel Fasua, yesterday, the group lamented that the governor was using government machinery to prevent them from erecting campaign billboards.

Fasua said the development reeked of abuse of power and flagrant disobedience to extant laws granting political parties equal rights to relevant public utilities.

However, several calls to the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr. Segun Ajiboye, to react to the allegations were ignored. He also ignored the text message sent to him.

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