A former Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the immediate past Governor of Oyo State, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, Mr. Kunle Olatunji, has declared that the All Progressives Congress (APC) would win at least 22 local government areas in the forthcoming local government elections in the state, if the party is allowed to participate.
Olatunji said this while addressing journalists at the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Secretariat, Iyaganku, Ibadan, the state capital, on Tuesday.
Our correspondent gathered that the Oyo State Independent Electoral Commission (OYSIEC) has fixed Saturday, May 22nd 2021, as the date for the conduct of elections in the 33 local government areas of the state.
Our correspondent learnt that the Supreme Court had recently declared the removal of the Local Government Chairmen elected under Ajimobi as null and void. The Court also awarded the sum of N20 million against the state government.
The Court urged the state government under Engineer Seyi Makinde to pay all the entitlements, including salaries and allowances, to all the sacked council bosses between now and August 2021.
But, Olatunji while speaking, urged OYSIEC to postpone the election for two months in order to allow the APC candidates participate in the election, based on the outcome of the Court judgement.
He said that the APC decided not to participate in the electoral process due to the pending Court case.
Olatunji noted that the party is now ready because the Court judgement has been delivered.
He advised OYSIEC to allow the APC participate in the election in the interest of peace, fairness and justice, by extending the date of the election for two months.
He added that the APC would win at least 22 local government areas if the party is allowed to contest.
“I can tell you that if OYSIEC will be fair, that election should not be held on Saturday, they should give opportunity to the opposition, especially the APC to participate in the election, if OYSIEC could be fair.
“OYSIEC as an umpire, is supposed to be balanced, fair and just in the conduct of elections in Oyo State. As an agency recognized by law to conduct elections in the state, it is not a PDP affair, it is for the entire Oyo State.
“Ideally, it is supposed to allow all parties to participate and be involved in the election. If you look at it, APC has been tactically denied the opportunity to participate in the election which is very unfair, because there is no way we could have participated in the election when we are still in Court as regards the unlawful removal of elected local government officials,” he said.
“So, we are appealing to OYSIEC to reconsider their stand from conducting a local government election when APC as a leading political party is not participating in the election.
“I can tell you that today, APC is already organized, if we go to the election with PDP in this forthcoming election and we are given at least two months to prepare, I am telling you authoritatively, we will win 22 local government areas out of the 33 in Oyo State.
“They should allow APC to participate so as to test their popularity. All of us know that PDP has been rejected. So let the OYSIEC give us the chance to participate and give us two months to prepare, you will see, APC will win at least 22 out of thirty-three local government areas in the state.”