The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Oyo State yesterday condemned Saturday’s council election as a sham and “a mockery of democracy”.
The ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) won all seats in the 32 local government areas, whose results were announced by the Oyo State Independent Electoral Commission (OYSIEC). The poll in Ido Local Government was rescheduled for Wednesday.
It was rescheduled as a result of the omission of Zenith Labour Party’s (ZLP’s) logo on the ballot paper.
The APC vowed to go on with the legal action it instituted to stop the poll.
The party, which did not participate in the process, posited that it was deliberately excluded by the state government.
The APC approached the court to determine if the state government did not deliberately exclude it from the election by refusing to postpone the election after the May 5 Supreme Court judgment which resolved in its favour, a two-year litigation on the dissolution of local government areas constituted by its members.
In a letter to OYSIEC prior the election, the opposition party urged the electoral umpire to postpone the election to enable it embark on the process of producing candidates since the judgment was just delivered on May 5.
The OYSIEC, which declined the APC request, said all political parties were carried along during the preparation in the last three months.
The APC notified the State Chief Judge of its plan to sue OYSIEC and Governor Seyi Makinde for exclusion.
The Chief Judge told the party to file its processes to enable him assign the case for an expedited hearing but APC lawyers were denied access to the court premises last Thursday because of the strike by Judicial workers nationwide.
Speaking on APC’s next line of action, its Assistant Publicity Secretary, Prince Ayobami Adejumo, said: “As far as we are concerned, the election was a mockery of democracy because the government deliberately excluded the APC.
“They made it a PDP affair. In the only two local government areas where there was competition (Ido and Ibarapa East), we saw that there was blood-letting and chaos which claimed unconfirmed number of lives.
“By and large, we will surely go back to court this week. We urge the public to await the outcome of our legal action. We ought to have achieved our objective of stopping the election but the PDP blocked all avenues for us to seek redress last week.
“Nevertheless, our legal team will still approach the court this week and we are very optimistic that our desire will be achieved. It is not about winning election but for the sanctity of democracy to be held.
“They have exposed themselves to the world that they cannot add value to democracy.”
But the Southwest Zonal Chairman of the PDP, Taofeek Arapaja, said the APC opted to deprive itself by boycotting the election.
Arapaja, a former deputy governor spoke with reporters after casting his vote.
Maintaining that the APC dribbled itself and shot a goal against itself, he said: “It is like shooting yourself in the legs. When you are claiming you are smart and you start dribbling yourself, you dribbled yourself and you scored, and you scored in your goalpost.
The policy of the Executive Governor of the state, Seyi Makinde is people-friendly.
“And we chose the chairmen, the candidates of our choice to be at the local government level, the councillors will be there and all the policies of the state government will be disseminated to the grassroots and everybody will have access to dividends of democracy.”
It was learnt last night that the elected council chairmen might be inaugurated by the governor today.