Members of about 25 opposition parties on Thursday walked out of a stakeholders’ meeting with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Osogbo, Osun State capital.
The session, held to afford stakeholders the opportunity to ask questions on the readiness of the electoral umpire for the coming election had in attendance, the INEC Chairman, Attahiru Jega and some other officials.
The Representatives said they were against the posting of Rufus Akeju to the state as Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), demanding that he must not be allowed to supervise the August 9 governorship election.
Among the opposition parties’ members present during the protest were the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) and the Labour Party (LP).
They displayed placards and also blocked the entrance to the meeting’s venue, chanting Akeju’s removal from the state.
The members alleged that Akeju was a card carrying member of the ruling All Progressives Party (APC) and had served under APC National Leader, Ahmed Bola Tinubu, in Lagos.
On his part, Jega assured the participants that the Commission was prepared to conduct free, fair and credible polls.
He stated that INEC had improved on the integrity of the electoral process, urging politicians to change their mindset about the Commission.
Jega further ordered that all billboards and sign posts promoting individuals or political parties in Osun State be removed.
According to him, such was against the 2010 Electoral Act as amended and the Commission would not hesitate to penalize defaulters.
Earlier in his welcome address, Akeju said the Commission was addressing the issue of voters’ apathy, in addition to ensuring voter education, awareness and mobilisation.
Secretary of inter-party advisory council of Nigeria, Peter Ameh, urged political parties to shun destructive criticism against the INEC and other political parties.
The parley also had in attendance, civil society organisations, community leaders, youth and market women.
It afforded the participants opportunity to ask the INEC Chairman series of questions on how to ensure credible polls.