The Ogun State governor, Dapo Abiodun, has expressed satisfaction with conduct of the local government elections held across the state, describing the exercise as “peaceful and transparent”.
Abiodun, who stated this on Saturday, while speaking with newsmen, shortly after casting his vote at Ward 3, Iperu1, Unit 002, Ita Osanyin, Iperu-Remo, Ikenne Local Government Area of the state, said reports available to him indicated that there was no disturbances or violence in any part of the state.
The governor who arrived his polling booth at 11:43a.m and voted two minutes later, further described the election as a referendum of acceptability, performance as well as a means to enable the people see how methodical, focused and responsible his government has been in meeting the people’s needs.
He assured that his administration will continue to respect the autonomy of the local governments and give them the necessary support to carry out their constitutional responsibilities as the third tier of government.
While acknowledging local government as the closest to the grassroots, Abiodun noted he would continue to fulfill his electoral promises to all the sectors of the state.
“What currently obtained in the state is that the local governments are independent because we give them free hand to operate.
“We will respect the autonomy of the local government. They are the third tiers of government – much closer to the people. Our administration will give all the necessary support to them to ensure that they carry out their constitutional responsibilities in line with the resolutions of the Governors’ Forum.
“Everything is going on well. The election is peaceful, no disruption, no violence. People are going about their civil duties responsibly”, he stated.
On the boycott of the election by a faction of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and some political parties in the state, Abiodun said he was not aware of any boycott, saying the state electoral body has done the needful by recognising the legitimate faction of the main opposition party.
According to him, “the boycott must have been done by the faction that lost out at the court”.
“What I was made to understand was that the party that was not recognised headed to the court and the case wasn’t brought up until Thursday. And from what I understand, the court dismissed the suit that was challenging the OGSIEC accepting the other faction and following that, I think, perhaps to save face, the faction that lost out now decided to support a boycott.
“You cannot boycott an election that you are not a participant in, I really don’t understand that. But I am not a lawyer, I am not OGSIEC and I am not speaking on behalf of any party, I can only speak on behalf of my party and my administration”, Abiodun stated.
The governor, however, lauded the electoral umpire for being transparent and providing a level playing ground for all political parties in the election.
“I believe OGSIEC has done everything within its power, their mandate is to be very transparent and to ensure that the playing field is as level as it should be for every single party that expressed desire to be part of this elections”, the governor submitted.