•OSIEC, Political Parties Set For Poll
By Kehinde Ayantunji
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Osun might have suffered technical knockout from the coming local government elections scheduled to hold on January 27 as the party failed to submit the candidate lists before the expiration of stipulated date by the Osun State Independent Electoral Commission (OSIEC).
According to information obtained by OSUN DEFENDER from OSIEC, other political parties have validly documented the nomination of their candidates for the election except PDP despite signifying intention to participate in the election.
The party is relying on two pending cases, one instituted before a Federal High Court in Abuja by Three PDP members, Chief Kolawole Osunkemitan, Chief Douglas Adeyinka and Prince Aderemi Adelowo and another one before Osun State High Court Ilesa by Barister Kanmi Ajibola.
Aside court cases, Osun PDP appeared not to have come over almost two years leadership tussle which is largely responsible for the party inability to select candidates for the poll with no local government and state elected leadership of the party till date.
A top hierarchy in OSIEC told our reporter that it is only a court declaration that can allow PDP to participate in the election with the expiration of the time frame given, saying the commission is not aware of such request before any court.
He said, “all I know is that as at the last day stipulated by the commission for the candidates nominations, we did not received PDP nominations, and to the best of my knowledge there is no pending case in any court of jurisdiction asking OSIEC to accept nominations outside the given date allowed by law and the pending cases in court which we have contested that our commission was never served nor properly joined as a party has nothing to do about the nomination date.”
“At the beginning, we held meeting with all political parties including PDP, to agree on the election date among others and we all agreed on January 27 before issuing 90 days mandatory notice, political parties that are interested in the election have validly nominated their candidates and whatever happen to PDP should be considered as the internal problem of PDP. As a commission, we have discharged our responsibilities in accordance with enabling laws”
Meanwhile, OSIEC is intensifying efforts to ensure the smooth conduct of the poll in January 27, 2018 as agreed by political parties. Local government offices of the commission are now opening for administrative and logistics planning.
Members of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) has commenced campaign in the 378 wards for the coming election.
Osun West APC Youth Leader, Imran Adekunle told OSUN DEFENDER that the party leaders and candidates have embarked on massive house to house campaign to sell the programmes of the party to the people and ensure that the party comes out victoriously.
Adekunle said the party is not in any way distracted by the PDP’s move to stop the election and urged party members to focus on mobilisation and sensitisation of the electorates towards the election.
In a reaction by the APC Director of Publicity, Research and Strategy, Kunle Oyatomi, the ruling party gave assurances that the party remains ‘firm in control of the situation and (that) nothing would derail the calculated and irrevocable drive towards conducting a successful local government poll, and also winning the governorship election scheduled for September 2018.
“The idea of the PDP that council election would not be held is in vain, and the attempt to legally stop the disbursement of local government money by the Federal Government is a pathetic exercise in futility,” the APC said.
“Osun people should be rest assured that the only reason the PDP intends to frustrate the election is that the party understand that it would be beaten silly in the coming local government election.
“If it had the slightest chance in the world that it could win, the PDP will not be wasting its time and resources in the court. It would rather be strong on the campaign trail” Oyatomi said.