By David Adeoye
Ibadan, Sept. 3, 2020 Gov. Seyi Makinde of Oyo State on Thursday inaugurated the State Independent Electoral Commission (OYSIEC) and charge its members to conduct free and fair local government elections in the state.
Speaking at the inauguration of the commission in Ibadan, Makinde said that his administration would not interfere with its activities.
He said that the Isiaka Olagunju-led commission had been saddled with the responsibility of overseeing an election, the outcome of which would reflect the will of the people.
The governor mandated the commission to, within the shortest possible time, make the will of the people prevail, by conducting an unbiased local government polls.
Makinde stated that his administration was ready to conduct the local government elections in the state, disclosing that the state government had allocated money for the commission in the 2020 budget.
“We knew this would come up and we have already allocated money in the Oyo State budget for this year, to conduct the elections.
“Within the shortest possible time, please give us elected officials at the local government level, that are known to the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” the governor said.
He urged politicians not to see elections as war or a do-or-die affair, but should allow the will of the people to prevail.
Speaking on the composition of the commission, the governor said that its chairman and members were men and women of integrity with track records.
He admonished them to do the work that would make the people of the state to be proud of them.
“I believe that the mandate of this commission is to conduct an inclusive election.
“So, gone are the days when the governor of the state will manipulate matter, so that some political parties will not field candidates. We are not here to play games.
“So, I am saying to this commission that the will of the people must remain sacrosanct,” Makinde said.
In his response, Olagunju, who spoke on behalf of the commission shortly after the swearing-in, assured the people of the state that OYSIEC would conduct a credible and transparent local government elections.
He promised that the commission’s members would not be biased toward any political party and that the will of the people would prevail.
“The essence of inaugurating the commission is to organise and manage local government elections; that is our mandate and we have to follow it.
“We were just inaugurated today. We need to go back to the office, see what is happening before we can talk about when to hold the elections.
“It is possible this year, but everything depends on the circumstances that we find ourselves when we get to the office.”
Other members of the commission are:
Adeniji Babatunde, Ganiyat Saka, Emmanuel Olanrewaju, Kunmi Agboola, Aderemi Ayoade, Sunday Falana and Elias Adeojo.