The Osun State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has rejected the appointment of the Vice Chancellor of University of Ibadan, Prof. Kayode Adebowale as the Returning Officer for the gubernatorial election in the state by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The rejection was included in a set of demands the Osun PDP brought forward as a requirement that will guarantee a free, fair and violent free poll on Saturday, July 16, 2022.
In a statement jointly signed by Barrister Niyi Owolade, Chairman, Legal Committee, Diran Odeyemi, Chairman, Media and Strategy Committee of the Senator Ademola Adeleke Campaign Organisation of the party on Monday, the party accused the APC of plotting to buy votes on election day.
PDP while describing Adebowale as an APC sympathiser added that they would not allow him to superintend over the electoral process in the state.
“As much as we have confidence that adherence to the spirit and letters of the Electoral Act will guarantee free and fair election, we reject the appointment of Prof. Adebowale as State Returning Officer for the July 16th election on account of partisanship and affiliation with the All Progressive Congress as a party, through the party’s former national chairman, Chief John Odigie Oyegun (the chairman of the governing council and pro chancellor of University of Ibadan), the Governor-elect of Ekiti state, Mr Biodun Oyebanji and his membership of alumni association of Ayedaade Grammar School, Ikire of which Osun state deputy governor is a member.
“It is particularly troubling that the Vice Chancellor was part of Ekiti APC campaign on more than five occasions.
"He was specifically very close to the family of the Ekiti Governor-elect before and during the campaigns.
"It would therefore be unfair to the mantra of free and fair election for such a figure with close affinity to the APC to be appointed State Returning Officer for the July 16 elections.
"Prof. Adebowale is not just an appointee of the Oyegun led Council, he is clearly a member of the inner circle of APC going by his recent activities.”
The party also called on the National Chairman of INEC, Prof. Mamhood Yakubu to urgently withdraw the appointment of Prof Adebowale and appoint a new neutral Returning Officer for Osun poll.
On the allegation of plot to engage in vote buying, the Osun PDP hinted that reports from across Osun state in the last two weeks revealed that the APC has been collating the PVC details of public servants, teachers and pensioners.
The plot it lamented is to engage in pre-election vote buying alongside election day vote purchase.
While listing sets of demands for a free, fair and violent free poll, the Osun PDP requested for an investigation into the activities of the Osun AMOTEKUN and determining their scope of operation and reasons for their meddling in the electoral process and affairs of politicians in Osun State, the immediate investigation into the murder of Akinpelu Kasim and Waheed Adebayo and the shooting of Adesina Opeyemi and prompt and diligent prosecution of those found culpable, the reinforcement of men of the Zonal and State Command to ensure adequate security for citizens.
Others are the rejection of the appointment of Prof. Adebowale as State Returning Officer and demand the appointment of a neutral STO by INEC, sanction against Osun APC for its criminal plot to subvert the electoral process through an elaborate vote buying agenda.
Meanwhile, in an earlier call to the Osun INEC spokesperson, Osimosu Oluwaseun, she stated that the Commission had not yet appointed a Reporting Officer for the Osun gubernatorial election.
She stated that the Commission was still engaging with the electorates and the various interest groups and when the time for such appointment is set, it will be communicated via the official INEC media outlets.