The Ogun State Chapter of All Progressives Congress (APC) has called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to “provide maximum security for its staff and the election materials in its possession, especially all the ballot papers pertaining to the just concluded general elections” in the state.
In a statement issued in Abeokuta on Sunday, and signed by the State Publicity Secretary of APC, Tunde Oladunjoye, the party said “it has become pertinent to demand for the provision of watertight security for INEC offices across the state, its officers and election materials.”
The statement read in part:
“In view of the recent happenings in Ogun State, particularly the last week’s invasion of the State’s INEC headquarters by the PDP governorship candidate, Hon. Ladi Adebutu, who lost in the March 18, 2023 elections, we are duty bound to call on INEC and all other relevant statutory bodies, including the security agencies, to ensure that nothing untoward happens to the election materials, especially the ballot papers in the possession of INEC.”
“Or where in the world has it been reported that a loser at an election, along with hundreds of hired people, marched on the office of the electoral umpire purportedly “to submit a letter”, as we saw in Abeokuta last week?”
“Hon Adebutu not only took thugs to INEC to ‘submit a letter’ but also insisted that officers of INEC must come out to address his hired crowd and respond to the so-called letter?”
“But for the steadfastness, professionalism and civility of the joint security men on guard, Hon. Adebutu and his hirelings would have overrun the INEC headquarters and this, most probably, would have led to loss of lives and destruction of property, including election materials“.
“It is an already established legal process that parties who wish to challenge an election result and intend to gain access to INEC materials can only do so through the order of the Court after an application has been filed and granted. It is, therefore, worrisome to see someone who wanted to govern a state of many firsts like Ogun State, lead misguided crowd to submit ordinary letter.
“Everyone knows that INEC has an interactive website! Besides, in this age of courier services and other communication avenues, why would anyone resort to crooked and illegal route to ventilate his grievances? We can only thank God that such person was unable to buy his way into the office of the Governor of Ogun State at the just concluded election.”
“The invasion of INEC head office by Hon. Adebutu was a desperation of the highest order, which depicted poor sportsmanship. Having lost the election and having failed to get to office via purchase, the PDP and its candidate lack the moral rectitude to make allegations of electoral impropriety against anybody or INEC.
“It would be recalled that around November 9, 2022 the INEC office in Abeokuta South LGA of the state was razed down by hoodlums who reportedly gained access around 1.00am. Even as the arsonists are yet to be arrested and prosecuted, we do not want a repeat of such incident in Ogun State. INEC must live up to expectation by safeguarding all its staff and offices from the PDP and its rampaging candidate!”