Peoples Democratic Party in Osun State has rejected the appointment of Kayode Adebowale, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ibadan as the returning officer for the July 16 governorship election in the state.
The opposition party alleged that Adebowale is affiliated with the ruling All Progressive Congress.
According to Niyi Owolade, the Chairman, Legal Committee of Senator Ademola Adeleke Campaign Organisation, Adebowale was an APC appointee under the John Oyegun-led Council. He also alleged that the UI Vice-Chancellor has been “part of Ekiti APC campaign on more than five occasions”.
“It would therefore be unfair to the mantra of free and fair election for such a figure with close affinity to the APC to be appointed State Returning Officer for the July 16 elections,” he said.
“Prof Adebowale is not just an appointee of Oyegun led Council, he is a member of the inner circle of APC going by his recent activities.
“It is particularly troubling that the Vice-Chancellor was part of Ekiti APC campaign on more than five occasions. He was specifically very close to the family of the Ekiti Governor-elect before and during the campaigns.
“We, therefore, call on the National Chairman of INEC, Prof Mahmood Yakubu to urgently withdraw the appointment of Prof Adebowale and appoint a new neutral Returning Officer for the Osun poll. We warn that we will not allow an APC sympathizer to superintend over the Osun election as was the case in 2018.”
Reacting to the claims, the APC Chairman in Osun State, Gboyega Famoodun, described the allegations against the returning officer as baseless.
The chairman, who spoke through his aide, described the PDP’s position as a joke and urged the public to disregard the allegations.
The statement read;
“The PDP’s position is not new. They are used to it.
“It is an indication that they are not prepared for the governorship election in Osun State as any serious political organization won’t object to that kind of arrangement. It is like a sinking person desperately looking for a straw to hold on to.
“They should better engage in ventures that will portray them as a serious entity. This current posture gives them out as jokers. It would be recalled that similar hostility towards the then Osun REC was also displayed by this set of jokers in 2014.
“Also in 2018, the same PDP kicked against the then REC, Mr. Segun Agbaje to the extent that the INEC commissioner vowed that he would quit if the then Osun elections were found to be fraudulent. At the end of the day, the Supreme Court vindicated us.”