The Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, has called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to remove the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Lagos, Olusegun Agbaje, for alleged partisanship and compromise.
Atiku, in a statement by his Special Assistant on Public Communication, Phrank Shaibu, said it was curious that the REC is insisting on using the Lagos State Park and Garage Management Committee, led by an All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain, Musiliu Akinsanya, also known as MC Oluomo, to distribute materials for the general election in Lagos State.
Shaibu dismissed Agbaje’s explanation that INEC would not be able to use members of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) and the Road Transport Employees Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) for distribution of electoral materials because the two unions had been banned in Lagos State.
He stated, “The law is clear that only a court has the power to proscribe an organisation. That was why the Federal Government had to go to court to proscribe the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN).
“What Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu did in Lagos State was to arbitrarily announce a ban on the activities of the NURTW because the organisation suspended MC Oluomo, the APC’s henchman. INEC must not promote illegality by working with a partisan organisation which is filled with APC members that are working for Bola Tinubu.
“How could such people be given sensitive materials to be distributed across Lagos on election day? This has already undermined the possibility of a free and fair election. INEC must sanction Mr. Agbaje for insisting on using MC Oluomo’s committee despite protests from members of the public.”
Shaibu added that election monitoring groups had dismissed the 2018 Osun State governorship rerun superintended by Agbaja as allegedly not passing democratic tests.
He added, “Recall that it was Mr Agbaje who superintended over the fraudulent and violent Osun governorship rerun which produced Gboyega Oyetola as governor. US Consul General, John Bray was spot on when he stated, ‘We witnessed what appeared to be incidents of interference and intimidation of voters and heard reports of harassment or party monitors, journalists and domestic observers.”
He said, “Unfortunately, it is the same Agbaje, who could not effectively supervise a rerun in a few polling units that have been given the task of superintending the election in Nigeria’s largest state with over seven million registered voters. The election is doomed to fail if INEC doesn’t do the right thing by removing him.
“We remind the INEC Chairman, Prof Mahmoud Yakubu, that this will be his last general election before the end of his tenure. We ask him to protect his legacy by removing Mr Segun Agbaje if he insists that MC Oluomo must be the one to handle sensitive INEC materials. This election must not only be fair but it must be seen to be fair as well.”