A Social-Political group in Osun State, The Osun Masterminds (TOM), has endorsed the proposed local government elections slated for October 15, 2022.
This was confirmed on Tuesday in Osogbo, the state capital while addressing journalists
Executive Director of the group, Dr. Wasiu Oyedokun-Alli while briefing journalists in Osogbo said the election was long overdue, calling on the government and the Osun Independent Electoral Commission (OSIEC) to make it free, fair and credible.
Part of the statement reads, “We have keenly followed issues surrounding the proposed conduct of the Local Government election by Osun State Independent Electoral Commission (OSSIEC). We are aware of the Court process instituted by the Peoples Democratic Party against the conduct of the election and we understand the fears of persons who think the timing of the election is wrong and must thus be terminated.
“It must be stated that all the parties concerned – OSSIEC, the ruling All Progressives Congress, the Peoples Democratic Party and other participating political parties – are important stakeholders in the process of electing heads for our Local Governments. As such, they all have rights within the provisions of our extant laws, to air their opinions and seek redress from the appropriate organs of government.
“While exercising rights however, we do understand that each of the concerned parties, must stay focused on the real issues that will define governance and ensure that citizens of the State enjoy the benefits therein. First, we must state that the election of Local Government Chairmen and Councillors is long overdue and should have come way earlier than the present time.
“The people of the State at the grassroots continue getting shortchanged through the absence of elected heads of Local Governments who can truly deliver governance at that level. Understanding however that it is never too late to do the right thing, we believe that the conduct of the Local Government election is a step in the right direction, despite being late.
“The commission must not be seen as doing the bidding of any of the political parties or stakeholders involved in the election. Utterances, posturing, engagements and conducts of the commission must reflect transparency and true democratic ideals, understanding that it is an independent commission that is expected to be fair to all.
The group however enjoined political parties to perceive the election as a critical democratic process that will deepen governance and thus, all political parties with presence in the State, should endeavor to participate. “It must be said, that allegations of foul play in the absence of any act thus describable, amounts to blackmail and political manipulation.”
“For as long as OSSIEC reassures the parties concerned, the commission must not be accused of foul play when it does not posture in such light. Fourth, the ruling party is advised to ensure that it does not deploy the machinery of State to thwart the freewill of the Electorates. While having influential links over several arms of society at present, it must not use these links to dictate the direction of election as doing this will render useless, the supposed intention of deepening democracy.
The Osun Masterminds is a group committed to advancing the tenets of accountability, transparency and overall good governance in the affairs of Osun State.