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Parties divided ahead October 8 council poll


Ogundele• We Are Sure Of Winning-PDP
• We Are Ready-UPN
• We Are In Court-LP

Barely three weeks to the October 8 local government election in Ogun State, the main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN), have re-affirmed their readiness to participate in the poll.

However, Labour Party (LP) has instituted a suit against the Ogun State Independent Electoral Commission (OGSIEC), over alleged exclusion of the party, just as allegations and counter-allegations of candidates imposition has continued to rock the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

Chairman of the PDP, Sikirulai Ogundele, who told The Guardian that his party is set for the election, said they are “very sure of winning in all the councils, including the councillorship seats, considering the high level of the insensitivity of the present administration in the state and at the national level.

“A genuine thinking person would need to think deeply before voting APC, we are sure of victory at the poll and I can assure you we are wining in all the areas.
For anybody to thumbprint for APC now, the person would need to think twice. It is a case of a wife that was married to two different husbands; she will be able to say which of the two is better.”He gave the electoral umpire a clean bill of health, describing it as competent, incorruptible and capable of conducting a free, fair and credible election without bias, noting that he has no fear on their credibility.

While stating that the two factions will join hands together to fight a common front, he said: “We have been talking to the other faction, they are bound to be aggrieved and I don’t have any doubt that in the next few days, we are going to settle our differences because we really need to be united.”To the chairman of UPN, Funmilayo Oginni, the party is also ready and will put in everything it takes, to make positive impact. She stated that UPN is capable of springing surprises during the poll because the masses are tired of APC, saying the PDP also, which might give them stiff opposition, has also gone to sleep.

“We have warned OGSIEC that if they mess up with our candidates we are going to court. I don’t think within the box, I always think outside the box. For every system, there is a possibility of foul play, there is possibility of rigging, it is normal. Even if we think there is a chance of foul play, that shouldn’t stop you from going ahead.

“Should we all say they will rig the election, so we should just sit back and watch? No, that is not how to make a change. We are going to give it everything that we have. Our youths are the ones in the frontline, it is their future, we are giving them the opportunity to hold their future in their hands and to make something with it, so let’s wait and see the result,” he said.

The acting chairman of LP, Abayomi Arabambi, said the suit filed before a State High Court, at Isabo, Abeokuta, was to seek an order restraining OGSIEC and its chairperson, Risikat Ogunfemi, from carrying on with the conduct of the council poll.He accused the electoral body of preventing the party’s candidates from participating in the poll by rejecting the necessary documents presented by them before the deadline.

In the originating summons deposed to by Mr. Arabambi, state secretary, Olaposi Oginni; and another member, Abdul-Sabur Sina Aroyeun, the LP, “is seeking a court declaration that the date for the collection and submission of the political parties Form CF 001 and CF 002, be extended in order to accommodate the party’s candidates.”

The party also prayed the court to determine whether or not, by section 221 relevant sections of Ogun State and the election timetable, the forthcoming local government election can validly hold, without giving forms to all interested parties.
In a related development, cases of candidates imposition exclusively reported by The Guardian, where party flag bearers were allegedly handpicked and their names forwarded to the electoral umpire, without involvement of party members, is still causing chaos within the rank and file of the APC.But despite the grouses, feelers from OGSIEC’s office indicated that there is no going back on the election.

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