By Musa Baba Adamu
A leader of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Olumide Aderinokun, has asked Governor Dapo Abiodun, not to turn the Ogun State Independent Electoral Commission (OGSIEC) into a revenue generation agency.
Recall that the Ogun electoral commission, saddled with the responsibility of conducting elections into the local governments of the state, has demanded N200,000 from chairmanship candidates.
OGSIEC, through its Chairman, said Tuesday that those contesting the councillorship posts must pay a non-refundable deposit of N100,000 each, saying it was in accordance with the law of the commission.
But the Akinruyiwa of Owu Kingdom, Aderinokun told Governor Dapo Abiodun “not to use the forthcoming local government elections in Ogun State as an avenue to increase the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of the State.”
It will be recalled that a report by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) stated that the IGR of the state dropped from N70 billion in 2019 to N50 billion in 2020.
In a statement made available to journàlists on Thursday, the Ogun House of Representatives candidate described the amount charged by the commission as “barbaric”.
According to the statement signed by his media aide, Taiye Taiwo, the politician said, “Governor Abiodun and his team should look elsewhere for revenue collection and not through the local government election. The amount charged for nomination forms is barbaric. It is not necessary.”
He accused Abiodun and the All Progressives Congress (APC) of making democracy expensive in Ogun, saying it was a ploy to disenfranchise some candidates.
He added that many young aspirants would not be able to participate in the elections as they would not be able to afford the OGSIEC nomination fee.
“He (Gov Abiodun) is making democracy expensive by charging N200,000 and N100,000 for chairmanship and councillorship forms respectively.
“The All Progressives Congress (APC) is trying to disenfranchise candidates from the opposition parties. We are talking about election that will usher in our servant leaders at the grassroots and not State Assembly election. Why demanding that huge amount from candidates? Ogun State Independent Electoral Commission (OGSIEC) is not supposed to be a revenue generation agency. The governor should know this.
“The high fee charged by OGSIEC will discourage younger aspirants from participating in the election,” he lamented.
Meanwhile, the Ogun local government election is scheduled to hold on July 24, 2021.