Stakeholders Thursday kicked against nomination form charges for aspirants in the July 24 local government election in Ogun State.
The chairman of the state electoral body, Babatunde Osibodu, had on Tuesday announced N200,000 and N100,000 as charges for chairmanship and councillorship aspirants’ forms respectively.
Osibodu also announced a nomination form fee waiver for female candidates contesting in the election.
Reacting, the State Chairman of New Nigeria Peoples Party, Oginni Olaposi, described the charges as ‘fraud’.
The NNPP also accused Governor Dapo Abiodun of downplaying the principle of democracy by changing the ‘free, fair and credible’ election to ‘another thing’.
Also speaking, an Egba-born politician and philanthropist, Olumide Aderinokun, described the nomination form charges as “barbaric”, and warned the government against turning the election into revenue generation.
The Action Alliance (AA) Chairman, Sanyaolu Abayomi, threatened that the party might sue the commission if it went ahead with the election.
Abayomi who spoke after the stakeholders meeting said the commission erred in not allowing at least four political parties to make their input before and during the stakeholders meeting on the forthcoming election.
He said: “We do not agree with the time given – that 30 days’ ultimatum. Because, I think in the timetable that was released earlier, they gave us 90 days, and that’s what we want to challenge today.
“It is clear to us now that there is one power somewhere that is overall power controlling them. But, if they want to be fair with all the political parties, and want local government elections to be free and fair, they should listen to us, guide the date they gave us, and go along with the constitution that guides OGSIEC. If they don’t do that, we won’t mind going to court with them.”
Meanwhile, Governor Abiodun has promised that the local government elections slated for July 24, would not be skewed in favour of the ruling party.
Abiodun told the party leaders that he would not share political positions among men and women who are party faithful during the elections, but promote equal participation, noting that leaders of the ruling party in the state must show that they are products of democracy.
“We must be consistent; we must show that we have learnt from other people’s lessons and that we are the product of democracy. We have done primaries when somebody else did not want primaries.
“We subjected ourselves to the party process; we evolved through that process which was later confirmed by the general elections despite all odds.
“Let us make sure that whatever process we adopt is democratic, we must be seen as true progressive democrats.
“When it comes to a process like this, what we need to do is to encourage our women to participate, to come forward and participate, we will vote for them.
“But we are not going to share it and say because you are a woman, you take this. No, that will be undemocratic. We are not going to do that, there will be fairness,” he stated.