- INEC says it can't afford to be talking about postponement of the Ondo election
- The electoral commission says the Ondo election will go on as planned
- The PDP says the postponement is necessary to give all parties a level playing field given that some matters were now before the Supreme Court
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has rejected calls for the postponement of the Ondo governorship election slated for Saturday, November 26.
According to INEC, the election will go on as scheduled.
Recall that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had requested for the election be shifted to allow the Supreme Court take a decision on pending issues relating to its candidate for the election.
READ ALSO: Don’t postpone Ondo election - APC to INEC
But speaking to Premium Times on Sunday, November 20, Olusegun Agbaje, the resident electoral commissioner for Ondo state, said that the call for postponement was unnecessary.
He said: “There are 28 political parties contesting the election, we cannot postpone it because of just one party.
“This is a pre-election issue, it can go on even up to the Supreme Court, so we cannot wait for that. The election must go on.”
Agbaje noted that it was not reasonable to shift the election now because all the insensitive materials have been received in Akure, adding that the sensitive materials are now with the Central Bank of Nigeria.
He said: “With this level of preparation, we cannot be talking about postponement.
“Let them go and put their house in order, and settle their problems, we cannot allow that to hold us back.”
Agbaje also revealed that a final stakeholders meeting will be held in Akure on Tuesday, November 22, where the Chairman of INEC, Mahmood Yakubu, and the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, will address all political parties on pending issues.
However, Banji Okunomo, PDP’s publicity secretary in Ondo state, said the postponement is necessary to give all parties a level playing field given that some matters were now before the Supreme Court.
He said: “INEC has a hand in the candidacy crisis in the PDP.
“But INEC is supposed to be neutral in this matter.
“Everybody is before the Supreme Court right now, which will begin to sit on the matter on Tuesday, we don’t know when it will finish.”
He said it was necessary for INEC to shift the election to avoid any crisis and because the commission is a party to the dispute.
The PDP had based its call for postponement on the non-conclusion of a court case that was to determine its rightful candidate for the election.
“We call on INEC to postpone the election pending the determination of the suit before the Supreme Court.
“We make this call against the backdrop of the fact that INEC is a party to the suit before the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court and is well aware of the steps taken by certain parties to the Suit to frustrate the course of justice,” PDP said.