Ondo 2016: INEC rejects calls for postponement, says election must hold Saturday

INEC chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu
INEC chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu

The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has declared that the Ondo governorship election slated for Saturday, November 26, will hold as scheduled.

It rejected the call by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, that the election be shifted to allow the Supreme Court take a decision on pending issues relating to its candidate for the election.

The Resident Electoral Commissioner for Ondo State, Olusegun Agbaje, told PREMIUM TIMES correspondent on Sunday that the call for postponement was unnecessary.

“There are 28 political parties contesting the election, we cannot postpone it because of just one party,” he said.

“This is a pre- election issue, it can go on even up to the Supreme Court, so we cannot wait for that. The election must go on.”

Mr. Agbaje noted that it was not reasonable to shift the election now because all the insensitive materials have been received in Akure.

He also said that the sensitive materials were also ready and now with the Central Bank of Nigeria.

“With this level of preparation, we cannot be talking about postponement,” he noted.

“Let them go and put their house in order, and settle their problems, we cannot allow that to hold us back.”

The official said a final stakeholders meeting will be held in Akure on Tuesday where the Chairman of INEC, Mahmood Yakubu, and the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, will address all political parties on pending issues.

However, PDP’s Publicity Secretary in Ondo State, Banji Okunomo, said the postponement is necessary to give all parties a level playing field given that all some matters were now before the Supreme Court.

“INEC has a hand in the candidacy crisis in the PDP,” Mr. Okunomo said. “But INEC is supposed to be neutral in this matter.

“Everybody is before the Supreme Court right now, which will begin to sit on the matter on Tuesday, we don’t know when it will finish.”

He said it was necessary for INEC to shift the election to avoid any crisis and because the commission is a party to the dispute.

Mr. Okunomo also argued that the shift would forestall a “foreseeable crisis” and ensure peace in the conduct of the election.

“It will be pre-emptive for INEC to go ahead with the election with a controversial candidate for the party,” he insisted.

Businessman Jimoh Ibrahim of the Ali Sheriff faction was listed as the candidate of the PDP by INEC on October 27, on the strength of the judgment of Justice Okon Abang of the Abuja Federal High Court.

Before then, Eyitayo Jegede of the Ahmed Makarfi camp had his name submitted to the commission and was the candidate until he was substituted.

The matter which had been at the appeal court, was to be decided on Friday, but had to be adjourned to allow the Supreme Court decide on the appeal brought by the factional chairman of the party in Ondo State, Biyi Poroye.

Mr. Poroye and others challenged the hearing of the matter by the Appeal Court.


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  • Taiwo

    Was the presidential election not postponed in 2015? Was the recent governorship election in Edo state not postponed.

    As I have been saying this is 2019 in the making.

    • Mufu Ola

      They were not postponed bcos of internal fighting since of a political party. If it is postponed any other party can arrange crisis in their fold in future if they are not ready for election. There must be discipline. US Presidential elections are held every 1st Tuesday of November every 4 yrs. Nobody or party can change it no matter d problem of d participating party.

      • sab

        Why bring US election into this? Are we organized like US? When Edo election came up, flimsy excuse was used to shift it. After, we heard nothing again, whether the earlier suspicion was real or not; foiled or not. After all, the purpose has been achieved. This is the only time I’m hearing that Appeal Court Panel is disbanded on mere unproved allegation of bribe. When a new one is set up, one party to the case rushed to Supreme Court to question the haste of reconstituting another Panel and there and then, everything came to a stand-still. So sad for the country.

      • Local Observer


        PDP under Jimoh Ibrahim has less than a zero chance of winning the coming election. The bulk of PDP
        in Ondo state is behind Governor Mimiko who has boycotted Jimoh Ibrahim’s hardly visible campaign.
        The whole idea of stiffing Governor Mimiko; by not recognizing Barrister Jegede’s candidacy of PDP –
        which Governor Mimiko backs – is to pave the way for the APC candidate, said to be BUHARI’s
        Trojan horse in Yorubaland. The APC plan is to defeat a straw man candidate of the PDP,
        and that’ll make all court cases PDP is pursuing, moot irrelevant, academic and useless.

        • Shahokaya

          Very true. I know when Buhari connived with Fayose and Wicked Wike and imposed Sheriff on PDP.

          • Observer

            Good answer… I was even the one that served the MOET they popped during the meeting.. Yeye dey smell

        • Mufu Ola

          Why did PDP begged Sheriff to come & be their chairman despite protests form likes of Okupe & few others? Was it APC that planted him in PDP? People will find excuse for their failures & setbacks.

    • Observer

      Olodo, oba awon Otondo… Was 2015 general election or Edo governorship election postponed due to in house issue of a particular Party? Wake up, wr cannot because of PDP in house wahala postpone the election…. Other parties are ready

  • Observer


  • isaac

    Double standard is it?!

  • Sunday Menukuro

    You people in the INEC caused all these. It shows that you are biased instead of being neutral as an umpire.
    Why did you wait until Jimoh Ibrahim exposed you of lobbying to collect a certain millions of dollars from him before you changed Eyitayo Jegede’s name for Jimoh Ibrahim’s name?
    Was it true that you demanded for such money from him?
    I am sure there is more to it than meets the eye.
    Meanwhile, for equity, justice and fair play, it behoves on you in the INEC to postpone the election so that thousands of people are not disenfranchised.
    If you can do it in Edo where there was no crisis of this magnitude then you should be able to do it here except you want us to believe what the people of Ondo state are saying that INEC is being used by the power that be to prevent the candidate of the ruling party from partaking in the election for obvious reasons.

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  • Dr Pat Kolawole Awosan

    Nigerians especially Ondo State, people fully support the INEC decision to conduct the Ondo State,gubernatorial poll on November 26,2016 as scheduled.PDP Olusegun Mimiko and Oyeniyi Jegede,[his stooge] can withdraw from the poll as PDP-Jimoh Ibrahim, recognized by the INEC will participate in the election along with APC-Rotimi Akeredolu and AD-Oke. Ondo State. Ondo State, outgoing governor OLusegun Mimiko, has messed up the governorship seat with massive looting,stealing and embezzlement of our public funds and he must be forced to give full account of his eight years steward by the EFCC.
    PDP-Governor Olusegun Mimiko,is still owing Ondo State, civil servants and pensioners six months arrears despite the huge FGN bail-out funds collected by governor Olusegun Mimiko. What of the 12% oil producing state derivation funds apart from the regular monthly allocations from the Federation account as well as the huge internally generated revenues. EFCC, must ensure governor Olusegun Mimiko, give full account of how he spent our huge public funds.

  • Clario

    The issues in Edo state were non existent yet the election was postponed with the lousy excuse of security challenges, to enable APC perfect it’s rigging strategy in the face of glaring defeat. INEC is setting up for unbridled violence and another inconclusive election which has become the signature tune under the Buhari “junta”.

    • MO the Observer

      now I can see that you are not informed properly… the call to postpone the of Edo election was by security forces, just like during GEJ’s tenure in the 2015 election… but Ondo state’s situation is bsed on PDP in house stress