The Labour Party, LP, has called for the removal of Olusegun Agbaje, the Resident Electoral Commissioner, REC, in Lagos State.
The party said this through the Director General of its Presidential Campaign Council, Akin Osuntokun, on Monday. Osuntokun, who spoke with newsmen in Abuja, said the contract between INEC and MC Oluomo-led PMC was an indication that the country’s electoral umpire is not ready for the forthcoming general election.
Osuntokun told journalists that when the news filtered in that INEC had engaged the services of the Lagos State Park and Garage Management Committee led by MC Oluomo, who is a known loyalist of the APC presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu, to distribute sensitive election materials at the elections, they didn’t take it seriously.
He said, “We initially took the allegation with a pinch of salt, believing that INEC was conscious of red lines in these elections and that common sense and logic would not permit such arbitrariness.
“However, as days passed by, it became clear to us that the news report was correct, especially as the explanation given by INEC National Commissioner for Information and Voter Education, Festus Okoye, does not go far enough in refuting this association.”
“This partisan and provocative action by INEC, in entrusting the conveyance of election materials into the hands of agents of an interested political party in Lagos State, is reprehensible and unprecedented in the annals of Nigeria’s electoral and political history.”
He continued that: “An immediate cancellation of the logistics contract entered into, between INEC and the Lagos State Park and Garage Management Committee headed by MC Oluomo;
“An immediate redeployment and blacklisting from any election duty, anywhere, of Lagos REC, Olusegun Agbaje, whose recent actions have raised concrete doubts about his suitability as an election supervisor, not just in Lagos State, but anywhere in decent society.
“There are far too many capable Nigerians of good professional and ethical standard available within INEC, to conduct an acceptable election, than to run the risk of any unpopular pre-determined outcome, which his conduct strongly suggests.
“We therefore urge INEC to remember that, it must always remain above suspicion, transparent and professional, more so in this election, of so much public hope and so much public trust.
“In building the requisite public confidence, INEC must, as a matter of fact, leave no room for doubt or for repetitive malfeasance, by any staff or official, whose professional ability, partiality and moral rectitude have already given reasonable cause for alarm.
“In closing, we wish to remind INEC that this a very important election, in which the people have not only demonstrated so much participatory interest, but also the will to ensure that things are done right.