Council polls: Kwara APM passes vote of no confidence in electoral umpire

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The chairman of the Allied Peoples Movement, APM, in Kwara State, Prince Oyedeji Oyekunle, has passed a vote of no confidence in the state Independent Electoral Commission, KWSIEC, on the forthcoming local council polls in the state fixed for September 21, 2024.

In a statement in Ilorin on Thursday, Oyekunle said: “As the State Chairman of the Allied Peoples Movement, APM, and the State Chairman of the Inter-Party Advisory Council, IPAC, Kwara Chapter, I have received and carefully reviewed the reports and feedback from various stakeholders concerning the conduct of these primaries.

“It is with a deep sense of responsibility and commitment to democracy that I must express our (IPAC) grave concerns regarding the competency, capability, and efficiency of the Assistant Electoral Officers, AEOs, and Electoral Officers, EOs, of KWSIEC.

“The reports we have gathered highlight significant irregularities and inefficiencies that cast serious doubt on the ability of these officials to conduct credible and fair local government elections.

“Given these unpalatable reports, it is evident that the current state of affairs within KWSIEC does not inspire confidence. Therefore, we are compelled to pass a vote of no confidence on KWSIEC’s capacity to conduct the forthcoming local government elections scheduled for Saturday, September 21, 2024.

“We urgently call on the State Chairman of KWSIEC, Mr. Muhammed Baba Okanla, to reassess the competence and readiness of his AEOs and EOs. An immediate and comprehensive overhaul is necessary to ensure that only the most qualified and capable hands are entrusted with the critical task of managing these elections.

“While we reiterate our support and that of IPAC for KWSIEC to oversee peaceful, fair, and credible elections, the commission must take decisive steps to restore public confidence. All eyes are on KWSIEC, and it is imperative that the commission rise to the occasion, ensuring a level playing field for all participants.”

The APM chairman urged KWSIEC “to discharge her duties with utmost integrity and transparency to uphold the democratic values we all cherish.”

However, in his reaction to the allegations, the chairman of the independent electoral body, Muhammed Baba Okanla, who spoke to DAILY POST in his office along Fate Road, disclosed that “the state Independent Electoral Commission would investigate the allegations against the staff and do the needful.”

He said Thursday remained the closing date or day for the primary elections of the political parties participating in the local council polls.

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