The Osun State Independent Electoral Commission (OSSIEC) has officially announced October 15, 2022 for the conduct of local government election in the state, but the opposition party, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), vows to ensure that no poll is held in October.
Addressing a press conference at the conference in Osogbo on Monday, Segun Oladitan, Chairman of the Commission, said that the election could have been held in 2020, but was hampered by a number of encumbrances such as Court litigations, COVID-19 pandemic, End-SARS saga and the necessary enabling law.
He explained that the commission would now operate on the newly passed and assented State electoral act 2022 which was passed by the State Assembly.
“You would kindly recollect that when this commission conducted elections in January 2018, it was based on a parliamentary system. I have the pleasure to inform you that the elections we are conducting this 2022 shall be on a presidential system whereby Chairmen of Local Government Councils shall be elected directly and the Ward Councillors shall be elected separately.”, he said.
But, in a swift reaction to the announcement of the local council poll, the main opposition party, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) vowed to use legal means to stop the conduct of the election, saying that a Court case had already been Instituted before the Federal High Court, Osogbo in which the party is challenging OSSIEC on the planned local government election.
Akindele Adekunle, Chairman, Caretaker Committee of Osun PDP, in a statement signed and made available to journalists in Osogbo on Monday, declared the OSSIEC move as illegal, adding that the party would engage in all lawful means, including mobilising the masses of Osun State to halt the planned local government elections.
“The illegal election as we have stated recently is targeted mainly at wasting resources of the state and to cover for some financial infractions by the outgoing APC government.
“For sake of emphasis, however, matters concerning the conduct of the election are already before competent courts of law and as a law-abiding political party, we will rely on the processes enabled by our laws to strengthen the nation’s democracy and enlighten the outgoing APC government to make them come to terms that government activities must not always be premised on crude arrogance and wanton illegality.”
“We will ensure that the sinister and dangerous plan of OSIEC that has become an appendage of the APC does not see the light of the day,” the party vowed.