The newly-inaugurated Oyo State Independent Electoral Commission will conduct local government in September, this year, almost nine years after such election took place in the state.
The Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, gave the assurance while inaugurating the OYSIEC members at the Executive Council Chamber of the Governor’s Office, Ibadan, on Friday.
He said that the election would be conducted three months after the electoral umpire was put in place in line with the provision of the Constitution.
Ajimobi also pledged to support the commission to ensure that they conducted transparent, free, fair and credible election in order to build the confidence of the people in the sanctity of balloting.
The new OYSIEC Chairman Mr. Ajeigbe Olajide, a native of Itesiwaju, Oke-Ogun Area of the state, was a former Head of Department Operations and later Training at the Oyo State office of the Independent National Electoral Commission.
Other members are Mr. Adedeji Raheem, Mr. Abdul-Hamid Akuru, Mrs. Omolola Odekunbi, Mr. Rasheed Oyekanmi; a lawyer, Mr. Sunday Aborisade, Mr. David Adeagbo and Alhaji Bello Alabi.
Ajimobi said, “Today is a very remarkable day. This occasion is significant because we are taking a giant step today towards providing good governance at the grassroots.
“We are ready with all sincerity to conduct the local government election and I assure members of OYSIEC that the task before them is surmountable.
“Our government has not been able to conduct LG election due to some legal entanglement that has stalled our desire to fulfill the aspirations and yearnings of the people to elect their choice of chairmen.
“Today’s event is therefore consequent upon the thorough screening of members of the commission by the State House of Assembly and I make bold to say that they were appointed based on their pedigree.”
Local government election was last conducted in the state on December 15, 2007, during the regime of a former Governor, Chief Adebayo Alao-Akala.
The ex-governor had shortly on assumption of office sacked the LG chairmen produced during the election conducted by his predecessor, Alhaji Rashidi Ladoja, on the eve of his departure from office in 2007.
Both elections had been trailed by controversies following the landslide victory of the then ruling Peoples Democratic Party, which won all the 33 chairmanship seats at the expense of 13 other political parties that participated in the elections.
The PDP also won 349, out of the 361 councillorship seats in the December 15, 2007 LG election conducted by the PDP.
The governor stressed that the new OYSIEC members were non-politicians, God-fearing, well-educated and eminently capable of the task ahead of them.
Ajimobi promised to adhere strictly to constitutional provision that stipulates that election to LGs should take place three months after inauguration of the state electoral commission.
He assured the people that the September election would have all the tenets of transparency and credibility, which, he said, the state was known for.
The governor charged the new members of the commission to write their names in gold and make history with the proposed election by ensuring that the exercise was successful.