Protests Rock INEC Office in Oyo as Ladoja Calls for Cancellation of Election
Protests on Monday rocked the INEC office headquarters on parliament road secretariat, Ibadan as supporters of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Accord Party (AP) besieged the area and chanted anti-commission slogans over the outcome of last the Saturday’s presidential and National Assembly election in the state. This came as the AP leader and gubernatorial candidate of the party, Senator Rashidi Ladoja, called for the cancellation of the election, saying it was full of irregularities and breached the Electoral Act. During the protest, the card-bearing supporters in their hundreds alleged the Resident Electoral Commissioner in the state, Ambassador Rufus Akeju as partisan and unfair to other major political parties that took part in both the presidential and National Assembly elections. The protesters, who were in two batches were civil and orderly in their protest as security agents manning the INEC office stood strategically to forestall any breakdown of law and order.
Dr. Maroof Akinwande, the spokesman of the four parties: SDP, Accord, Labour and PDP said they had met and agreed to jointly reject the outcome of the election. Akinwande, who is the spokesman of the affected parties, recalled how he led protesters from across the parties to protest against Akeju’s deployment to Oyo State few weeks ago, stressing that with the outcome of this election which is fraught with irregularities, “we have been vindicated moreso that Akeju is a partisan person who has link with the APC leadership.” On what would be the next line of action, Akinwande said they would have to approach the court to seek redress on the development. He said their party agents signed result sheets under duress during the Saturday’s election, adding that some other party agents did not sign the results and would therefore fight the matter to a logical conclusion. Alhaji Wasiu Emiola, an Accord Party chieftain led the protesters for his party, while Dauda Adesina and Mrs. Yetunde Olayiwola joined Akinwande to express PDP’s grievances with the commission. Adesina said: “We voted for Jonathan in Oyo State and all the votes should be returned to him. What were recorded at the polling booths were not what the commission read out to the public at the collation centre and INEC office.” Earlier, Ladoja called for the cancellation of the election over irregularities. He made the call while addressing newsmen at his residence, Bodija, Ibadan. He condemned late arrival of INEC officials to the polling booths and said most electorate were disenfranchised at the polls. He called on Professor Attahiru Jega to redeploy Akeju from the state if credible election would be held during April 11 election.