Osun 2018: Omisore’s allegations are laughable ― REC
AMIDST allegations by the Social Democratic Party, SDP, Candidate in the forthcoming Governorship Election in Osun State, Senator Iyiola Omisore, that the State Resident Electoral Commissioner, REC, Mr Olusegun Agbaje, had compromised ahead of the election and should be redeployed out of the state immediately, the REC on Sunday dismissed the allegations, saying that they were “false and laughable with no substance at all.”
Speaking with Tribune Online yesterday on the allegations and the state of readiness of the Commission for the Poll, Agbaje declared that when his attention was drawn to the Omisore’s false claims, he laughed especially where he claimed that security reports had revealed that he (Agbaje) was a regular visitor of the Osun State Governor, Rauf Aregbesola, at the Government House. OShogbo.
Senator Omisore had last Friday told the visiting team of the British High Commission, Lagos, who was in the State on a fact findings mission on the governorship election that Agaje had been compromised as he had been a regular visitor to the Government House, Oshogbo since assumption of office in the State and hence, he should be removed ahead of the poll to avoid electoral violence from his supporters.
But, Agbaje dismissed the allegations yesterday saying that he had never been to the Osun government House, Oshogbo, since his assumption of duty as the State REC since on April 24th this year and that he had neither met with Governor Aregbesola as a person face to face since assumption of office, wondering why Omisore, a respectable personality in the South-West Zone could be making such false allegations.
According to him, “When my attention was called to the Media report quoting Senator Omisore of making such allegations against me, I was just laughing, so I think governor Aregbesola will be doing. Since my arrival in Osun as the REC, I have never met Aregbesola or visited the government house but for Omisore to now be saying that security reports had revealed to him that I have been a regular visitor to Aregbesola at the government House as if I’m having my dinner at the place, it is laughable to me and I think the same goes for the governor.
”By now, all serious candidates representing the various Political Parties should be on field campaigning to the electorate and canvassing for their votes and not just sitting in the comfort Zone of their rooms and be making wild and false allegations, this will not translate to electoral victory this time around, the electorates are wiser now, they are not gullible.
“There will be no violence in whatever form before, during and after the governorship election based on my regular interactions with the stakeholders since my assumption of office, they are cooperating with us, they are parts of everything we are doing here as a commission, we have nothing to hide.
“I have told the stakeholders severally and am still repeating it now, if any politician or stakeholder observes anything in the activities of the officials of the Commission in the State under my watch that are not in line with the Electoral Act, as amended, they should quickly call my attention to this and I gave everybody my Telephone lines through which they can reach me at any time.
“However, I went further in order to guide against what is happening now in this case of Omisore, I told them that if the observation is against my humble self, they can either contact the Chairman of the Commission directly to lodge any complaint against me or do so through any of the National Commissioner at the Commission’s Headquarters in Abuja.
“To me, I didn’t expect such allegations from Senator Omisore, he is respectable personality from the South-West Zone, such falsehood is not expected from him, but I’m not bothered, he is free to come and prove his allegations since he mentioned security repoets at his disposal
“At least there are always gate men and security personnel from the various security agencies at the entrance of any Government house. Members of the public can also go and do their independent finding on this matter, we have nothing to hide.”
The REC lamented that even Senator Omisore who was now making false allegations have not been coming to the previous stakeholders’ meetings held with others in the past and the one held last week where all stakeholders were duly briefed on all steps being taken towards having a successful election in the State and wondered where he got his briefs from.
Agbaje, however, disclosed that about 75 per cent of those things needed to be done to have a free, fair and credible election come September 22nd this year had been one except for the matter of the ad-hoc Staff which Omisore spoke about.
He said that ad-hoc personnel would be recruited from the Federal institutions in the state but that this would not be made public now so that the politicians would not start working on them ahead of the day of the election.
On the level of collection of the permanent voter cards, PVCs , to be used by the electorate, Agbaje stated that the Commission would take the distribution of the Cards to the all the Local Government Areas in the State from this week to make the collection easier for the electorate who were yet to collect theirs to do so before the election day as nobody no matter highly placed would be allowed to vote without the presentation of his or her PVC at any polling centre in the State.