Anxiety as INEC’s report fails to recognise Ondo APC guber primary

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Anxiety as INEC’s report fails to recognise Ondo APC guber primary

Barely two weeks after the All Progressives Congress’ (APC) gubernatorial primary in Ondo State that produced Governor Lucky Aiyedatiwa as the standard-bearer, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is yet to append its seal.

Aiyedatiwa was declared winner of the exercise by his Kogi counterpart and Chairman of the Primary Election Committee, Usman Ododo, after polling 48,569 votes to defeat 15 others.

In the purported report submitted by some of the officials of the electoral body, who monitored the shadow election in the 203 political wards of the state, there were alleged cases of irregularities in some parts, citing failures such as non-arrival of electoral materials and lack of proper collation of results.

In the Certified True Copy (CTC) submitted to the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in the state, over 10 of the INEC electoral officers in the 18 local council areas disclosed that polls did take place in their respective locations.

For Ifedore Local Council, the report sighted by The Guardian, which had not been authenticated by INEC, reads in part: “The All Progressives Congress primary was scheduled to hold in Ifedore Local Government Area on April 20, 2024. Members of staff were sent from the INEC office to monitor the primary in each of the 10 wards of the local government area as stipulated by the Electoral Act 2022.

“There was no agenda provided for the primary in all 10 wards.

“In the 10 wards of the local government area, the All Progressives Congress Electoral Committee required to conduct the primary was not available to conduct the exercise.”

In Ilaje Local Government Area, the report reads: “In compliance with the directive of the commission and as part of INEC’s statutory function to monitor and report political parties primaries, members of staff were deployed to the 12 RAs that made up the LGA to monitor the primaries.

“The party members in the local government all converged on the designated venues to exercise their civic responsibilities. Although INEC monitors were present in all wards for the assignment, the event was characterised by the non-availability of election materials across the 12 RAs.

“Collation did not take place at the local government, as the centre was under lock and key.”

With the primary marked by controversy, no fewer than six contestants submitted petitions to the party’s appeal committee and even threatened to approach the court for alleged manipulations.

When contacted, an INEC official, who craved anonymity, declined to comment on the document, citing its sensitivity.

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