By Lawrence Olaoye
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate in Osun state, Senator Iyiola Omisore has called on the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to remove the state Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Ambassador Oluwatoyin Akeju, before the conduct of the governorship election on the 9th of August.
Omisore who briefed newsmen after receiving his Certificate of Return at the headquarters of the party said an election conducted by Akeju can never be free and fair because the REC is a card carrying member of the All Progressives Congress (APC), the ruling party in the state.
The PDP flagbearer urged the party’s leadership at the national level to rise up to the occasion and prevail on Jega to remove Akeju in obedience to an order granted by a court of competent jurisdiction recently.
According to him, Jega’s refusal to obey the court order and his preference for appeal in a matter that queries the integrity of the electoral umpire left so many questions unanswered.
He said the INEC boss had shown an unnecessary interest in the matter and this means the Osun governorship election could be manipulated in the APC’s favour.
A Federal High Court sitting in Osogbo had in 2010 restrained INEC from using Ambassador Rufus Oluwatoyin Akeju as the Osun REC in the coming elections the state and directed INEC to immediately appoint his replacement.
Omidire said “the issue is that the REC in Osun state now has been proven beyond reasonable doubt by Court of competent jurisdiction, to affirm to be a card carrying member of APC, evidenced by his action and his history particularly on two ocassions in 2010, when when Wale Okediran was launching a book, he was there as representative of (Ahmed) Tinubu.
“These are facts and figures that are sacrosant. Another function was in Lagos State where he also stood in for Tinubu. And the court in their wisdom affirmed these to be truthful.
“Prof Jega in his arrogance has refused to yield to the call of the people. He went further to appeal against a court judgment. I was deputy governor before, I was Senator for eight years. It is not in history anywhere an institution of government becomes interested in a particular court order. That means that Jega has something to hide and he must come forward to tell Nigerians what he has in stock for us. We will resist any attempt to keep Akeju in that state, take it for records.”
Charging the leadership of the party to take the demand for Akeju’s removal beyond the shores of the state, he added that election rigging in the South West is worse that armed robbery, noting “we see an election rigging as armed robbery and you know what armed robbers face.”
“I want to assure you that we won’t open our eyes and see our election being rigged. We shall win convincing beyond reasonable doubt,” he assured.
Reacting to a fellow aspirant, Sen Isiaka Adeleke, who faulted the primaries, Omisore said “he came to the primaries at the eleventh hour, so where you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail.”
He added that the fact that aspirants came congratulating after the primary, attested to the fact that it was free, fair and credible.
Presenting the certificate to Omisore, Mu’azu said “winning this primary is the begiing of the great beginning. The election before you is not a joke. You are going to uproot a party and plant another party. It is not an easy task. But I know that you are not a small boy. You are a man and up to the task”.
He further tasked Omisore to ensure he reconciles with all aggrieved members of the party, adding that members of the party must protect their votes.