Election 2019: PDP raises alarm over alleged intimidation of INEC REC in Oyo

Election 2019: PDP raises alarm over alleged intimidation of INEC REC in Oyo

- INEC has been urged to retain its neutrality while conducting the coming general polls

- PDP's presidential campaign coordinator for Oyo state alleged that the APC has been threatening and pressuring the top echelon of INEC to do their unlawful bidding

- The Resident Electoral Commissioner in the state, Barrister Mutiu Agboke, however, denied that he was ever harassed by the ruling party

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Oyo state has alleged that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is being suppressed by political parties to overthrow the wish of the people in the forthcoming general elections.

The state coordinator for the PDP presidential campaign, Nureni Adeniran, who made this known on Wednesday, February 20, in Ibadan said it is necessary that INEC retains its neutrality while conducting the polls, Channels TV reports.

Adeniran said: “It has been brought to our attention that the ruling party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) has been threatening top echelon, intimidating and pressuring the top echelon of INEC to do their unlawful biddings, especially in Oyo state here.

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“The following untoward, unlawful and illegal activities were alleged to have occurred between the INEC top echelon and the Oyo state governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi and the APC leaders in Oyo state.

“The APC through Governor Ajimobi was alleged to have approached the Resident Electoral Commissioner in Oyo, Barrister Mutiu Agboke to do their biddings and that he (the electoral officer) was harassed and threatened that if he does not do their biddings, he will ensure he is transferred out of Oyo state.

On his part while reacting to the allegation that INEC is being pressurised, the Resident Electoral Commissioner in Oyo, Barrister Mutiu Agboke, denied that he was ever harassed by the ruling party.

Agboke stated the INEC is an Independent body saddled with carrying out its responsibility with fear or favour of any party, stressing that it is bound by that oath to be fair to all parties at the polls.

“Let me say here that there was no time the governor wanted me to return sensitive materials to the government house.

“INEC doesn’t work under the state governor. I restate strongly that there was never any pressure on me. All our materials are now in the custody of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). We are already deploying them to the local governments," he said.

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The INEC boss also advised politicians and stakeholders to play by the rules to ensure the elections are fair and credible.

He added: “Let me reiterate and caution our stakeholders that INEC as a commission should not be dragged into the political controversy of any kind.

“The commission under my leadership is ready to deliver credible poll. This would not just be credible but would be clearly seen and adjudged credible.”

Meanwhile, Legit.ng had reported that the INEC warned all partakers in electoral process to shun any dastardly act capable of disrupting its effectiveness of the forthcoming general elections.

That was made known on Monday, January 21, by Mutiu Agboke, the Oyo state REC, adding that any offender caught violating the smooth running of the electoral activities would be severely and legally dealt with.

Speaking on a radio station in Ibadan, Premier FM 93.5 on a programme tagged: "INEC's maiden edition half hour", Agboke, warned all partakers in electoral process to ensure they carried out their duties in line with procedures and guidelines slated for its effectiveness and efficiency.

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