Amidst controversy and abstinence of major opposition Political parties, the Osun State Independent Electoral Commission, OSSIEC is going on with the conduct of the Local Government Election slated for Saturday.
Already, the state government has declared Friday, a work-free day to enable people to travel to their various polling locations.
The Government similarly imposed restrictions on vehicular movement between seven o’clock in the morning and three o’clock in the evening across the state tomorrow.
In a statement in Osogbo, the State Commissioner for information, Mrs Funke Egbemode said the development was to ensure a hitch-free election.
Shortly after the conduct of the state Governorship Election on July 16th, the State Independent Electoral Commission, OSSIEC announced a timetable for the conduct of the election.
This announcement was received with stiff opposition from the People’s Democratic Party which contended that it was illegal and a waste of resources for the state government to organise a local government election after the ruling party had lost the governorship election.
The PDP public relations Officer, Mr Oladele Bamiji who told Radio Nigeria in an interview that the party would boycott the process, said OSSIEC’s insistence on conducting the election was an attempt by the ruling APC to perpetuate itself in office after it had lost the governorship election.
However, the ruling APC maintained that it would field candidates for the election, saying that the state electoral commission was on a clear page of Law to conduct the local council poll.
Speaking on Tuesday at the party’s Secretariat in Osogbo during a ceremony to flag-off campaign ahead of the election, the Chairman of the APC in Osun State, Prince Gboyega Famoodun said the Osun State Electoral Commission had obeyed all the laws guiding the conduct of such election.
Immediately after OSSIEC’s announcement of the election timetable in July, a Human Rights activist, Mr Kanmi Ajibola approached a Federal High Court, asking the court to declare the proposed election as illegal, null and void.
Mr Ajibola’s contention was the fact that the state government and its Electoral body offended the provision of the Electoral Act, 2010 as amended, which provides that a 365-day notice must be given to all parties before any election could hold.
In an interview with Radio Nigeria, the legal practitioner submitted that since the matter was already in court, it was an offence for the state Electoral body to insist on the conduct of tomorrow’s local government election in Osun State.
However, the Chairman of OSSIEC Prince Segun Oladitan said the exercise would go on as there is no judgment stopping the conduct of the election.
Promising to conduct a free and fair election, Prince Oladitan said of all political parties that collected the forms, only one has returned forms for the election.
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