No campaign for presidential, National Assembly candidates before Saturday ― Oyo REC

The Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Oyo State, Mr Mutiu Agboke has foreclosed the possibility of presidential and National Assembly candidates resuming campaign before the rescheduled election.

Agboke, who spoke during a telephone interview on a privately owned radio station in Ibadan where journalists were x-raying the consequence of the postponement, blamed the postponement on the shortfall in election materials.

He said, “for example, in Oyo State, we received the full complement (election materials) for House of Representatives ballot papers and result sheets. And also, we received Oyo South and Oyo North senatorial districts ballot papers, with shortfalls in Oyo Central and then other sensitive materials.”

“There is no window for campaigns for political parties that are contesting for presidential and National Assembly elections. There is still room for governorship and House of Assembly. For the purpose of our time table, we have foreclosed the campaign for presidential and national assembly elections,” Agboke said.

On whether transportation of the materials was part of the logistic problem, Agboke said, “I am not a member of the committee that procured them. I am only the resident electoral commissioner. I’m only to receive these materials, and when they’ve not come, I can’t fabricate materials.”

Asked what would happen to already deployed ballot papers and result sheets, Agboke replied, “As I speak to you, we have retrieved all the sensitive materials to the state office. We have tightened up the security.

“We have within our premises the full presence of various categories of the Nigeria Police Force; the people in the red cap, the people in the black cap, the regular police that you know.

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“In fact, they have been reinforced with the presence of the Nigerian Army. They are all here, knowing full well that we have all these materials back to the state office. So, the materials are intact, nothing has happened to them and nothing will happen to them.”

On the allegation by some politicians that election materials got to the All Progressives Congress (APC) without their knowledge, the REC said, “we were all there together with all the parties’ representatives as we were sorting, counting and deploying. We all left there together around 3:00 a.m. So, I do not expect that kind of comment from any stakeholders.

“All the materials that left Ibadan were only those ones within Ibadan local government areas. And they are just maybe North-East, Ibadan North, Ibadan South-West, Lagelu or so. Those are the ones. The people from Oke-Ogun, far areas, had not left when the announcement was made, and none of them has left since yesterday. Everything is back to the state office.

“It’s a situation somebody will just create to heat up the polity. Because as far as we are concerned, they have not been able to penetrate any of the systems here. So, there is nothing like that. As a stakeholder, one of the political parties stood up and confronted me, I told him to give me evidence, he couldn’t say anything further. Gentlemen, those are fake news items, don’t join issues with them,” he said.

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