The O’odua Renaissance Movement (ORM) has called on INEC to postpone the Ondo State governorship election slated for Nov. 26 to avoid election violence.
Gboyega Adeoye, who spoke on behalf of the group, made the call in Lagos on Tuesday while speaking to journalists after an emergency meeting of its members.
Adeoye said the group’s stance was hinged on the sensitivity of the election and the setting of precedence in Edo, where election was postponed for two weeks to avert breakdown of law and order.
“The need for the shifting of the poll becomes imperative in view of the intra-party battles that characterized the contest, which left no ample time for candidates to sell their manifestos to the electorate.
“The electorate will have so much to lose under the present arrangement as there is no clear cut promise from the candidates to galvanize a principled stance among the voters,” he said.
Majority support postponement
Adeoye said that not less than 20 political parties had already signified their interests in having the election postponed. He explained that this raised suspicion of a stiff reaction should the election umpire go ahead with its plan.
He said, “We are all aware of what happened during the last INEC-conducted election in Edo State. INEC postponed the election as a result of perceived security threat.
“It beats one hollow that the same INEC has kept silent on the Ondo election up till now. The silence, to us in ORM, is evil and should be discouraged.
“Those with sense of history should know the sensitivity of Ondo State and its kind of politics.
“Ondo State is strategic and very sensitive when it comes to responses to political issues. This is why INEC must tread with caution and do the needful in this case.”
Adeoye, therefore, urged a three-week extension of the election. He said this will allow candidates to run campaigns to guide the electorate in their choice of the next governor.
“With the case between Jimoh Ibrahim and Eyitayo Jegede of the PDP still in court, none of the three major parties in the race has had enough time to sell itself to the electorate,” he said.