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Oyo PDP Ward Congress: We’ll Not Give Undue Attention To Any Faceless Groups, Says Agboke

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By Richard Thomas, Ibadan

The Oyo State Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has described as baseless allegations from faceless groups in the state who are bent on tarnishing the image and good reputation of the commission in the Ward Congress of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) held on Saturday.

The commission in a statement signed by Mrs Katherine Ogwu, Head of Department Voter Education, Gender and Publicity recalled what she described as “spurious, baseless and unfounded allegations made against the Resident Electoral Commissioner in the state, Barrister Mutiu Agboke by a faceless and attention-seeking group.

He said that the immediate reaction of the Resident Electoral Commissioner was not to give undue popularity to the individuals by joining issues with a faceless and unguided people, but for the discerning minds in Oyo State who might be concerned about the propaganda targeted at the person of the REC.

The statement, reads: “What else, the faceless group has demonstrated ignorance to the effect of not knowing the mandate of Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, at relating with registered political parties and not a factional group or groups.

“For the avoidance of doubt, Barrister Agboke was never at meeting with Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State on Saturday, neither did he received N10 million either directly or by proxy as insinuated by these enemies of democratic norms, nor did he instruct the staff of the commission at the local government to close the office at 1p.m on the day of the congress with the intention of not receiving the result of the factional group in the PDP.

“At the appropriate time, the law would be made to take its course on the allegations as they will be made to prove the allegations before a competent court of jurisdiction.”

Agboke said INEC has a mandate to relate will political parties and not factional group or  groups, stressing that the Oyo State INEC has done as it affects the People’s Democratic Party, PDP’s ward congresses held on Saturday. And will continue to do it always.

According to him, the leadership of PDP in Oyo State had written INEC informing the Commission of its congresses at ward level, stating the venues for the said congresses with the names of personnel and their respective phone numbers and officials of the Commission were accordingly deployed to the venues of the congresses as dictated by the leadership of PDP in Oyo State.

“Whoever is waiting for the INEC to be deployed to their rooms or their beer parlours for whatever reasons is only waiting for the winking of a crab, such person or persons will stay longer than usual by the river bank.

“Political parties and most importantly the good people of Oyo State are assured of an unbiased electoral umpire under acceptable Democratic norm and will never serve the interest of individuals over the collective Democratic interest of the generality of the people.

“We state as a fact that the intention of this unscrupulous faceless group was not to taint the unscathed image and integrity of the Hon REC, but to cast the aspersions of impartiality as well.

“Agboke is a man of integrity, honour and determination to do the right thing at all times as demonstrated by him in the last general election in 2019. There is no amount of campaign of calumny, intimidation, harassment, name dropping, spurious allegations that will intimidate him from doing the right thing.

“Oyo state INEC reiterates very strongly that it will not under no circumstances give recognition to any factional groups in any political party using INEC to validate its activities for legitimacy,” the statement added

He said since 2018, INEC has the list of the state executive members that it has been relating with for its electoral activities.

“Unless there is a direction from the National executive committee of the parties to the otherwise, those state executive members shall remain the recognized executive members by  INEC in Oyo state,” it noted.

 

 

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