In the just concluded Oyo PDP state congress, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it recognizes only the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) state congress conducted on Saturday at the Lekan Salami Sports Complex, Adamasingba in Ibadan.
Mutiu Agboke, the state Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), made this known on Sunday in Ibadan.
Agboke spoke when he led the management team of the commission on an advocacy visit to Abere Central Mosque, Agbowo, Ibadan.
Two parallel PDP State Congresses were held on Saturday in Ibadan where two separate executives of the party emerged.
The faction of the State Governor, Seyi Makinde, held its congress at the main bowl of the Lekan Salami Sports Complex, Adamasingba.
Similarly, the aggrieved PDP members led by former majority leader of the House of Representatives, Mulikat Adeola-Akande and Bisi Olopoeniyan, held their separate congress at Jogor Centre, Liberty Road, off Ring Road, Ibadan.
The two factions had claimed the presence of INEC officials at their respective congress venues.
Agboke said the claim that INEC officers were present at the other venue apart from the Adamasingba was an unfounded insinuation, “because the person must have insinuated that INEC attended two venues.”
According to him, INEC does not, or will never interact or relate with a group, in other words INEC does not know the group, INEC knows the political party.
“Therefore, the venue given to the commission by the PDP, as a political party, was Lekan Salami Sports Complex, Adamasingba, which of course, INEC staff attended.
“The representative of the commission from Abuja, the HOD Election and Party Monitoring and two other staff were at the Adamasingba. So, the claim that INEC attended any other congress is untrue.
“For us as an electoral body, we have the policy of doing the right thing and that is what we are going to do”, the REC said.
Earlier, Agboke, while addressing Muslim faithful at the Abere Central Mosque, Agbowo, charged religious leaders and their congregation to take active part in the electoral processes, saying that their participation would enhance the nation’s democratic growth.
He said that those who have yet to register for the Permanent Voter Card (PVC) should do so.
“Those that are yet to collect their PVC from the custody of the commission should collect them, so that we can have a good platform for elections in Oyo State”, Agboke said.
On the importance of such advocacy visits, the Oyo REC said that it was necessary for us to be engaging major stakeholders and public advocacy about what INEC was doing.
“Otherwise, you will give room for insinuations, misgivings and the likes.
“So, when this religious group extended an invitation to us that it needed voter education, I quickly embraced the invitation”, he said.