Ondo Election 17 parties tell INEC to postpone polls

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had earlier called for the postponement of the November 26 polls.

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Mahmood Yakubu play

Mahmood Yakubu, INEC chairman

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Seventeen political parties have urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to postpone the Ondo State governorship elections.

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had earlier called for the postponement of the November 26 polls but INEC refused to shift the date.

Labour Party (LP) Chairman, Alhaji Abdulkadri Abdusalam spoke on behalf of the 17 parties during a press conference in Abuja on Monday, November 21.

“Another critical concern is the growing level of violence and insecurity in the Ondo political environment prior to the governorship election on Saturday,” Abdulsalam said.

“In recognition of this ugly fact, we also take this opportunity to call on the relevant security agencies (the Police, DSS, NSCDC), to immediately put pressure on INEC to postpone the election date to a possible date after the court processes have been completed, but within the constitutional provisions, to guarantee a peaceful and healthy political environment for the election.

“In the Edo State governorship election, which held a few months ago, INEC upheld the candidacy of the Senator Ahmed Markarfi-led PDP as the authentic group to present a candidate for the party; now in the Ondo State governorship election slated for Saturday, the same electoral umpire is upholding the governorship candidacy of the Senator Sheriff-led faction of the party under the guise of obeying a court order.

“This quagmire must be resolved by the court even if this drags on to the Supreme Court before any meaningful election can take place in Ondo State.

“If INEC is blatantly intimidated into abdicating its basic function of monitoring and certifying the validity of party primary elections for the selection of candidates, and instead acquiesce by allowing the court to arbitrarily pick candidates without INEC-monitored primaries then our democracy is becoming gravely injured, needing urgent ambulatory care and political surgery,” he added.

Other parties who were represented include Progressives Party, National Conscience Party, African Democratic Congress, Peoples Redemption Party, Progressives Peoples Alliance and Peoples Party of Nigeria.

Protesters, on Monday, invaded the INEC office in Akure, the Ondo capital, over the proposed polls.

The major bone of contention in the polls is the choice of Jimoh Ibrahim as the official candidate of the PDP instead of Eyitayo Jegede.

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Ibrahim is the candidate of the Ali Modu Sheriff faction of the PDP while Jegede is the candidate of the Ahmed Makarfi faction.

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