A legal practitioner, Mr Niyi Akintola, has chided the Oyo State Independent Electoral Commission (OYSIEC) over the commission’s decision to conduct the forthcoming local government election in the state in only 33 local government areas (LGAs) and not the 35 local council development areas (LCDAs).
Speaking with journalists in Ibadan, Akintola marvelled at the decision of Mr Isiaka Olagunju led OYSIEC to want to conduct election into only the 33 LGs when the Oyo State law creating the LCDAs had not been repealed or amended.
Making reference to similar conduct of elections into LCDAs in some states of the country, Akintola bemoaned the decision of OYSIEC to sideline the 35 LCDAs in the May 22 local government election in the state.
To avoid contravention of the Oyo State laws and for the sake of all-inclusiveness, Akintola said it was expedient for the OYSIEC to consider conducting an election into the 35 LCDAs.
Akintola added that though the All Progressives Congress (APC) demanded a shift in the May 22 date to enable the party to screen and present its candidates in the elections, he pointed out that the APC will only participate in an election that is done into the 33 LGAs and 35 LCDAs.
Akintola said: “The LCDAs were established by law and that is why we as a party say that if the election will not be held in all the local government areas including the local council development areas, we will not take part.
“You don’t expect my party to contest that election on the basis of 33 local government areas.
“OYSIEC is planning the LG election for members of PDP. If it was meant for all, I have spoken to the Chairman of OYSIEC and have told him what should be done.
“The LCDAs were established by Oyo State laws and that law has not been repealed or amended for you to go ahead and contest election in 33 local government areas.
“We are not the first to establish LCDA in this country. It was done in Lagos, Abia Osun. In fact, this is a new development in Oyo. I have not seen a single state that sidelined its LCDA on the basis of the LG election.
“We want a shift in date of the election because we will have wanted time to prepare for the election. Moreover, parties are to screen their candidates. But also, we demand that the election should be conducted in the 33 LGs and 35 LCDAs.”