Mimiko Swears In Electoral Commission Members


Ondo State Governor, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko yesterday swore in members of the reconstituted State Independent Electoral Commission (ODIEC) with a charge to them to “ensure fair, credible and transparent elections into the chairmanship and councillorship positions in the 18 local government council areas of the state after all legal issues would have been resolved.”

This sets the tone for the conduct of fresh election at the local government tier of government in the state.

Speaking at their inauguration ceremony in Akure, Mimiko also told them to turn around the past electoral misfortunes by ensuring that every political party operates from a common and neutral ground and play the game on a level playing field.

He explained further that “you will all recall that before the inception of this administration in February 2009, a long legal battle was fought to reclaim our stolen mandate. Therefore, for an administration that came into power through the instrumentality of the law, we find it absolutely necessary not only to ensure regard for, but also, sustain the rule of law.

Apparently likening the ODIEC helmsman and immediate past ASUU Chairman, Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko, Dr Olugbenga Ige, to INEC Chairman, Prof Attahiru Jega, the governor said that “we believe that your tenure will pay us like that of the former ASUU Chairman. We went to pick somebody from the academia, somebody who has the background of activism and who we all don’t expect to compromise or do anything other than to ensure fairness.

“Your manifest non-partisanship in any of the existing political parties or interest groups, will engender people’s trust and confidence in the affairs of the Commission and particularly, in the conduct of free and fair local government elections.

“Unlike in 2007 when we witnessed all manner of electoral malady, the 2011 election was a major improvement over the past. A typical evidence of this improvement was that after the 2007 elections, about 68 election petitions were filed in the court, but in 2011, only 8 petitions were filed which was a testimony to the credibility of the election.”

While reiterating his administration’s commitment to ensuring an era of credible polls in the state, Governor Mimiko declared that “on the part of the Labour Party government, it bears repeating here that we will not seek for any undue advantage over and above any party or individual, but that we shall only give the necessary moral and financial support in accordance with the Constitution.”

Responding on behalf of other members, Ige pledged that with the sincerity and support of the political class, the commission will further deepen the culture of free, fair and credible elections in Ondo State.

Members of the 8-man Commission include Chief Bisi Ogundipe, Mrs Joke Adebusoye, Mrs Lola Adewumi and Comrade Bayo Williams.

Others are Mr Amos Fadope, Mr Ayo Ajayi and Barr. Adeoye Omolekulo.

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