Abeokuta — As the much anticipated local government elections in Ogun State gather momentum, Chairman of the State Independent Electoral Commission (OGSIEC), Mr. Babatunde Osibodu has assured the people of the state that the Commission will not compromise its integrity.
Speaking in Abeokuta, the OGSIEC boss said members of the Commission are people of impeccable character, whose integrity will reflect in the conduct of the Council polls, assuring that the outcome will be a true reflection of the wishes of the people.
Osibodu said, "I want to once again assure the good people of Ogun State that our firm resolve to organise a council poll that will be totally devoid of any form of manipulation or interference cannot be overemphasized. Our motivation for taking this task is service to Ogun State and to contribute our quota in deepening the democratic values in Ogun and Nigeria".
"Our loyalty is to the constitution, Ogun State Electoral Law, and to the good people of Ogun State. The forthcoming elections will be one- man, one- vote, there is no external force anywhere that will influence us. Our motivation for accepting this task is service to the people and nothing more", he clarified.
"The Commission is made of people of integrity, who had for decades, proven their mettle across different strata of human endeavours. We are also following the law and due process and this we will hold very dearly in the course of the forthcoming local government elections in Ogun State", he noted.
Mr Osibodu noted that over 10,000 ad hoc staff would be engaged by the Commission, urging those interested to keep monitoring the media for updates, saying that the application would be done online.
"We shall be engaging the services of more than 10,000 ad hoc staff for the forthcoming local government elections in Ogun State who will serve as Electoral Officers, Presiding Officers and Poll Officers, among others. This is in our drive to make the process seamless and free of hitches", he stated.
He explained that the Commission was not involved in the expansion of polling Units, Continuous Voter Registration (CVR), stating that such power resides only with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the National Assembly is expected to give legislative backing to the polling units expansion.
While dissociating OGSIEC from a fake timetable that was on social media a few weeks ago, he advised the electorates and general public to be wary of content from the social media, disclosing that any information that emanates from the Commission will be communicated through the appropriate means involving pressmen.
"We will not be distracted in our poise to deliver a credible election. We work with our timing and the provisions of the law. Whatever does not emanate from us should be totally disregarded", Osibodu added.
On the actual days of notification of election, the Chairman revealed that the 90 days duration popularly held in some quarters was exclusive to INEC, just as he stated that the Ogun State Electoral Law, 2007 stipulates not less than 30 days notice of election but the Commission extended it to 85 days.
He posited further that "the Commission is empowered by the Ogun State Electoral Law, 2007 to prescribe a non-refundable deposit from male aspirants, who have scaled the primaries, reiterating that the reason for giving female aspirants waivers was to encourage women participation in politics and provide a level playing ground.
He said the number of political parties participating in the local government elections would be determined after the various primaries, while urging them to be guided by the rules, as OGSIEC will monitor all party primaries, emphasising that only parties can obtain the form for qualified candidates and not individuals.
The OGSIEC boss allayed the fear of violence during the election, saying, the Commission has been interfacing with the Nigeria Police Force, the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), and other security agencies in order to ensure the security of lives and property.
Vanguard News Nigeria