Oladele Ogunsola – Ibadan
As Oyo State voters troop out on Saturday for the much awaited local government election, it has been disclosed that 12 political parties would be participating in the exercise, taking place in 33 Local Government areas (LG) and 35 Local Council Development Areas (LCDA).
Making this disclosure on Friday was the Chairman of the Oyo State Independent Electoral Commission (OYSIEC), Mr. John Ajeigbe while addressing journalists at the Queen Elizabeth Road, Ibadan secretariat of the commission.
The Chairman also made it known that two foreign bodies, the United Nations (UN) and the International Foundation for Electoral Systems alongside10 domestic election observers would monitor the election in the 4,783 polling booths and 5,260 voting points.
No fewer than 10,000 ad-hoc staff in addition to the members of staff of the commission have been recruited to work in the 610 wards of the State according to Mr. Ajeigbe.
The OYSIEC boss gave the names of the participating political parties based on the forms collected and candidates fielded for the Chairmanship and Councillorship posts to include Abundant Nigeria Renewal Party (ANRP), National Rescue Movement (NRM), Young Progressives Party (YPP), People for Democratic Change (PDC), and KOWA Party.
Others are, African People Alliance (APA), Justice Must Prevail Party (JMPP), All Progressives Congress (APC), Action Democratic Party (ADP), United Democratic Party (UDP), Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA) and Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN).
On the OYSIEC readiness for the election, the Chairman said, “all logistics had been put in place as all sensitive materials had been distributed to designated places within the 33 local government areas and the 35 LCDAs in the State”.
He also assured that security arrangements had been put in place with all the security agencies, including the Police, Army and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) already at alert to ensure that the exercise goes on smoothly.
Corroborating the OYSIEC boss, Mrs. Yemisi Ige, who spoke on behalf of the Coalition of Accredited Civil Society Groups said “we are set to monitor the election and we commend Governor Abiola Ajimobi for taking the bull by the horns in conducting the election”.
The last time local government election was conducted in the state was in 2007 by the Otunba Adebayo Alao-Akala’s administration, the same administration that created the problem that had since plagued the local government election in the state and which the current administration led by Sen. Ajimobi would be ending by the Saturday’sexercise.
The then governor Alao-Akala had on assumption of office in 2007 disbanded the elected local government councils’ executives midwifed by his erstwhile boss and predecessor in office, Sen. Rashidi Ladoja and the litigation that followed was responsible for the non-conduct of another election since then.