Ondo declares Friday work-free for local govt election
• As SDP confirms participation
Ahead of tomorrow’s Local government election in Ondo State, the state governor, Mr Rotimi Akeredolu, on Thursday directed that Friday, August 21, 2020, be observed as a work-free day.
This directive is to enable residents of the state to have adequate time to prepare for the Local Government Election scheduled for Saturday, August 22, 2020.
This was contained in a statement issued by the state Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Mr Donald Ojogo, who said the governor urged the electorate to freely exercise their voting rights just as he called on them to shun violence during the exercise.
“As we are all aware, the Local Government Election scheduled for Saturday, August 22, 2020, is yet another opportunity for the citizens of Ondo State to avail themselves of the chance of democratic participation.
“This is particularly imperative in view of the importance of that tier of government as the closest to the grassroots. We cannot, therefore, afford to take less advantage of this golden opportunity not only to deepen our democratic structures but to equally decide our leadership contents for optimum development drive.
“In this regard, Mr Governor has directed that Friday, August 22, be declared a work-free for workers to enable them to prepare adequately for the local government election.
“Governor Akeredolu, while urging all citizens of the state to take maximum advantage of the election to freely exercise their rights, enjoins all to shun violence before, during and after the exercise.
Meanwhile, contrary to a social media report, the Social Democratic Party (SDP) has confirmed its readiness to participate in the next Saturday election, dispelling the rumour to boycott the local government election.
The Deputy National Chairman (South) of the party, Dr Olu Agunloye, who stated this in a press statement signed by him, said SDP will fully participate in the election and will do everything possible to protect people’s mandate.
He noted that many questions have been raised over the participation of the SDP in the election but said the party decided to participate in the election to build the party and to draw out the energetic and endowed members within the Party and to attract vibrant politicians into the party.
Agunloye said “the party never consulted APC about contesting and has no agreement or arrangements with APC in respect of the current LG elections or the forthcoming governorship election.
“The SDP candidates came out to contest with the full support of SDP but without any financial help from the National or State level of SDP.
“The candidates operated gallantly on their own with their own resources and with vigour and determination to win.
“They carried on so well that they became well accepted by the electorates in respective Wards and Local Governments Areas throughout the State.
“Their successes must have made APC members jittery that they started to attack the candidates physically; they tore their posters and destroyed banners. This became so intense that petitions had to be sent to the Inspector General of Police”
He said “the leaders of SDP at the National State levels wish to assure all members that the leadership will do all possible to protect the interests of the party members and ensure security for all, more so, for those candidates out there flying the flag of the SDP
“We note that Ondo governor, His Excellency, Rotimi Akeredolu had publicly assured the nation that the votes in Ondo elections will count and will be counted. The leadership of SDP will take his word for it. I enjoin all SDP candidates to remain steadfast and not be intimidated.”
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