From Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
The Oyo State Independent Electoral Commission (OYSIEC) has suspended the conduct of the ongoing council poll in Ido Local Government based on omission of the logo of Zenith Labour Party (ZLP) on the ballot papers.
The OYSIEC chairman, Aare Isiaka Olagunju (SAN), made the announcement when he briefed journalists at the headquarters of the commission, Agodi, Ibadan, on Saturday afternoon.
According to him, the ZLP presented candidate for the chairmanship poll only in Ido Local Government and did not contest in the other 32 local government areas. The election, he said, was suspended and the decision of OYSIEC would be made known as soon as possible on when the election would be held again.
His words: “An information just reaching me now which is not palatable; I was notified that ZLP logo is missing on the ballot papers, and we take full responsibility for the mistakes. It was not intensionally, ZLP is contesting in just one local government out of the 33 local government areas in the state, which is Ido Local Government.
“It will be wrong if logo of a party is missing on the ballot papers and we still continue the election, that is why we decided to suspend the election in the local government.”
Olagunju however, reiterated OYSIEC’s commitment toward free, fair and credible election, adding that the commissions would be unbiased in discharging its duty.
Meanwhile, Governor Seyi Makinde, on Saturday, applauded the Oyo State Independent Electoral Commission (OYSIEC) for putting appropriate measures in place to aid the conduct of free and fair local government election in the 33 local government areas of Oyo State.
The governor, who voted at the Ward 11, Polling Unit 1, Abayomi Open Space, Abayomi Bus Stop, Iwo Road, Ibadan, said that he was so happy seeing people exercising their civic rights by voting for the candidates of their choice in a friendly and conducive atmosphere.
He said: “I am quite happy about what we have seen so far because the people are doing what they are supposed to do.
“The security agencies are there and doing their work. From what they have told me, there is nothing overwhelming as they are on top of the situation.
“My message to the good people of Oyo State is, first, this is a process. We will throw up some people and it is not the end in itself but a means to an end. The end in democracy is good governance for Oyo State. The people must be eternally vigilant.
“Even though people are being elected today, we have to hold them accountable just like I am being accountable at the state level.”
In the same vein, the reports have been heard that there were skirmishes in some parts of the state, such as fighting and snatching of ballot boxes, especially in Oke-Ola in Eruwa, the headquarters of Ibarapa East Local Government Area of the state.
Gunshots were reportedly heard in Ibarapa East Ward Five in New Eruwa. The battle, as gathered, was between the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Labour Party(LP).
Investigation revealed that many opinion leaders in Ibarapa East were supporting LP against PDP, in spite of the fact that the current Speaker of the Oyo State House of Assembly, Adebo Ogundoyin, of PDP hails from Eruwa.
The OYSIEC chairman, Aare Isiaka Olagunju, has, however, appealed to warring groups to sheathe their swords and allow the process to go smoothly.