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In the face of the forthcoming local government election in Ogun State, the New Nigeria Peoples Party has kicked against the sale of nomination forms, describing it as ‘fraud’.
The NNPP also accused governor Dapo Abiodun of downplaying the principle of democracy by changing the ‘free, fair and credible’ election to another thing.
NNPP in Ogun state also rejected in totality the alleged attempt by Governorl Abiodun to take democracy for free in Ogun state.
This is coming barely two days after the chairman of OGSIEC, Babatunde Osibodu disclosed that aspirants are to pay for nomination form.
But, the NNPP Chairman, Olaposi Oginni while speaking with PLATFORM TIMES on Thursday said paying for nomination form is fraudulent.
He noted that democracy should be free and affordable to the ordinary people irrespective of status.
Oginni noted that the franchise of the people should not, and will not be tolerated to be toyed with.
He said, “As a matter of fact, we believe that democracy is indeed affordable to everybody irrespective of their status as a Nigerian and as a bona-fide residents and people of Ogun state; they are free to vote and be voted for irrespective of there economic status.
“But by the time we are trying to put a clause in the will of the progress of democracy by making democracy out of the reach of ordinary Nigeria and vulnerable people, then it is no longer a democracy.
“It is now in Ogun state what governor Abiodun intend to do is to put democracy back to the dark era where it is now the government of the rich, by the rich and for the rich”.
Oginni also said democracy is expected to be at the reach of people at the grassroots, without imposing any form of exploitation as such do not conform with the principle of democracy.
Also, Oginni remind governor Dapo Abiodun that in 2019,the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC did not ask for sale nomination form, including from the governor.
“For crying out loud, how did you want a very young graduate who is energetic with lots of idea and can bring out help at the grassroot level, how do you want such a person to have two hundred thousand to pay to OGSIEC and will also look for resources for his/her campaign across the wards and local government where he is coming out.
“The point we are trying to make out now is that morally it is wrong, we condemn it in totality. Democratically too, it is wrong because as bad as Nigeria may have said to be today, the major umpire of election in Nigeria which is INEC has never charge anybody a dime to contest any election.
“We hereby challenge governor Dapo Abiodun to provide the proof to Ogun State people that he pay a kobo to INEC to contest in 2019, if he did not pay a kobo to get nomination from INEC, he has no moral right to support any mis-informed and set of fraudulent people who are advising him to make democracy out of the reach of ordinary people”.
Meanwhile, Ognni also pointed out that the electoral body in the State, is incompetent with the way it is handling the forthcoming LG poll.
“Another point is that if you look at it critically OGSIEC is not an internally generates revenue commission, it is not IGR commission, it was not set up to generate fund for the state.
“If Dapo Abiodun is looking for money he should look for money somewhere else not by putting democracy for sale, it is unacceptable! The work of the commission is to be independent and unbias umpire free, fair and credible.
“How can they be free, fair and credible when they are asking candidate to go and pay. If anybody have much than enough to give to OGSIEC, then they should. But they already have a kind of mandate of getting money from the candidate, then how can they be free and fair. And yet governor Dapo Abiodun has submited budget to the House of Assembly on the funding coming of local government election.
“If it is the duty of the government to fund the local government election, why should OGSIEC be looking for money or even try to exploit the candidate? And I want to tell you that our allegation is not because of today, but because of tomorrow we all have a history.
“The Osibodu-led OGSIEC proved again that they are not competent. It has never happen in Ogun and as the matter of fact we say no and we going to resist it.
“We are going to make sure that this kind of rasconic agenda of Dapo Abiodun concerning local government election will not see the light of the day.
“This is a democracy that all of us fought for and we will not allow Dapo Abiodun and APC to put democracy for sake.
He further said, “We are not going to withdraw, we are going to participate because part of their ploy is to see to making sure that they technically eliminate opposition from participating.
“We are calling on all the opinion leaders, the good people of Ogun state have the right to be protected.
“We are going to shock them, we are taking them to court and that does not mean we are not going to participate. We will make sure we participate”, Oginni declared.