The Ondo State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party has urged the Governor Rotimi Akeredolu-led government to ensure free, fair and credible exercise during the forthcoming local government election in the state.
This is as the main opposition party expressed its readiness to participate in the forthcoming polls.
The Chairman of the Ondo State Independent Electoral Commission, Prof. Joseph Aremo, had fixed December 16, 2023 for the conduct of the local government poll in the state.
He said the commission had kick-started the process of the election by issuing 360 days notice for the conduct of the poll to political parties and other stakeholders.
To this end, the main opposition party urged the All Progressives Congress-led State Government to ensure the election is credible and transparent .
The state chairman of the PDP, Mr Fatai Adams, made the call while speaking on the poll at the party secretariat in Akure, the state capital on Thursday.
Stating the problem of the local council in Nigeria, Adams lamented that the local government was the third tier of government which was closest to the people at the grassroots but unfortunately it had been completely paralysed.
“The LG are only serving as a salary payment agency of the State Government, rather than serving the grassroot people as enshrined in the 1999 Nigerian Constitution (as amended),” Adams said.
He added, “We are assuring the general public that we are prepared to participate in the electoral contest with the fervent hope that the governor and his APC will allow the commission to perform its role without undue interference and interruptions. As a party, we have put necessary machinery in motion which will culminate in our electoral victory at the polls and we are participating to win by the grace of God.”
According to him, the PDP’s resolve to participate in the election was to reverse the “uneventful and uninspiring narratives and to restore the lost glory of local government administration and its pride”.
“This resolve is deliberate and we are conscious of the agenda of Governor Rotimi Akeredolu to continue to muzzle the local government administrations by foisting his stooges on the people. We can therefore gauge his temperature and the mood of the APC as well as the inconveniences this our resolve may cause its members who erroneously see local government as their cash cow, being the reward for their hypocrisy and sycophancy to the governor.
“This time around, APC will be resisted by the grassroot people who have been bearing the brunt of inept, colourless, unenviable, dry and retrogressive governance at that very important layer of government.
“We are however using this opportunity to call on the ODIEC to perform its role as an impartial arbiter which should not rob Peter to pay Paul. We are passionalety appealing to the Chairman and other members of the Commission to always act on the side of the people bearing in mind that their Commission is being financed by the tax payers’ money and not from the APC government which merely appointed them.
“They should ensure utmost transparency of the electoral process, exhibit decency, decorum and discipline that is expected of their high offices and not compromise for any self-serving or pecuniary gains so that posterity will be kind to them at the end of the day,” the chairman stated.