Remove Lagos REC, cancel Oluomo’s contract – Labour Party tells INEC

The Obi-Datti Presidential Campaign Council has asked the Independent National Electoral Commission not to compromise election in Lagos state over its alliance with the Chairman of Lagos State Parks Management Committee, Musiliu Akinsanya, popularly known as MC Oluomo.


Speaking on Monday, Labour Party said the unholy alliance between INEC and MC Oluomo is an indication that the country’s electoral umpire is not ready for a free and fair general election.


The party therefore called for the immediate redeployment of the Resident Electoral Commissioner in Lagos, Olusegun Agbaje, saying his recent statements reeked of sectional bias and partisanship.


The concerns were raised by the Director General of the Labour Party Presidential Campaign Council, Akin Osuntokun, on Monday in Abuja.


Osuntokun told journalists that when the news filtered in that INEC had engaged the services of the Lagos State Park and Garage Management Committee led by MC Oluomo, who is a known loyalist of the APC presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu, to distribute sensitive election materials at the elections, they didn’t take it seriously.


He said, “We initially took the allegation with a pinch of salt, believing that INEC was conscious of red lines in these elections and that common sense and logic would not permit such arbitrariness.


“However, as days passed by, it became clear to us that the news report was correct, especially as the explanation given by INEC National Commissioner for Information and Voter Education, Festus Okoye, does not go far enough in refuting this association.”


According to him, the provocative action of INEC in entrusting the conveyance of election materials into the hands of political party agents is reprehensible and unprecedented in the annals of Nigeria’s electoral history.


The political scientist stated that he found the insensitivity of the electoral body to the public outcry on the glaring partisan engagement of MC Oluomo as a major logistics contractor in Lagos quite disturbing, an act that he said is capable of jeopardizing the election operation.


“In addition, recent public statements by the Resident Electoral Commissioner in Lagos State, Olusegun Agbaje, bordering on sectional bias and resentment, have shown overwhelming partisanship on his side, and therefore, he cannot be trusted with the onerous task of conducting an unbiased election in a volatile state like Lagos.


“We recall further, with apprehension, that the heavily criticised 2018 Osun State governorship rerun election, wherein Mr. Gboyega Oyetola was controversially declared the winner to the dismay of the populace, including international observers, was also conducted by this same Olusegun Agbaje.


“It is therefore, against the above backdrop, that we demand an immediate cancellation of the logistics contract between INEC and MC Oluomo.


“We also want an immediate redeployment and blacklisting from any election duty, anywhere, of the Lagos REC, Olusegun Agbaje, whose recent actions have raised doubts about his suitability as an election supervisor.


“There are far too many capable Nigerians of good professional and ethical standard available within INEC, to conduct an acceptable election, than to run the risk of any unpopular pre-determined outcome, which his conduct, strongly suggests,” he said.

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