The Oyo State Resident Electoral Commissioner, Barrister Mutiu Agboke, has revealed that over 200 staff of the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC have been sacked for various electoral offences in the state.
The REC, who admitted that there were problems during the last general elections in the state, declared that majority of them were orchestrated by politicians.
Agboke spoke on Tuesday at the symposium put together by the Lanre Oladoyinbo-led executives of the University of Ibadan, Senior Staff Club entitled: ‘2019 elections: A post Mortem’
According to him, “No fewer than 200 staff of the commission were dismissed for various electoral offences.
“INEC performed well in the conduct of the 2019 election. We are ready to defend the results of last 2019 elections conducted in Oyo state in court.”
The REC noted that at the moment, there were 32 election petitions comprising one petition for governorship, four for senatorial election, 12 House of Representatives and 15 house of assembly petitions.
Agboke, who claimed a few of the political actors approached him with ‘big money’ however noted that only a foolish INEC staff will be hobnobbing, visiting and running after politicians.
In his contribution, Professor of Political science, Bayo Okunade reiterated the need to unbundle INEC and relieve it of the many roles it is playing to enhance its performance in line with the Uwais report.
Professor Okunade maintained that there was nothing wrong with the infractions which occurred during the polls, saying these were not features of political contestations.
The Registrar/Chief Executive, Teachers Registration Council, Segun Ajiboye also noted that progress had been made in Nigeria’s conduct of elections and called for the review of the participation of University staff as ad-hoc staff in future elections.
“Between 2015 and last week, over two hundred of them (INEC staff) were on interdiction. They were not alive, they were not dead. Just last week, they were recalled because their issues were revisited.
“There are some that are still in court and over two hundred plus of them were dismissed. People did not see that majority of the problems INEC faced were orchestrated by political parties.
“What is the reason for my success in the last elections? I will tell you it is engagement, reengagement and over engagement. If you keep quiet you allow people to suspect you. How would they (politicians) not come.
“If you tell them (INEC staff) it is only those that are foolish among them, that will be hobnobbing with them, visiting them, running after them. As a REC, I am the king in my own right.
“One or few of them made an attempt to bring very huge amount of money but I look at them. I am contented with what I have. The highest level of joy i had was the day I presented the certificate of return to the person that will become the governor tomorrow.
“With that I have achieved a lot. We have 32 election petitions, one governorship, 4 senatorial, 12 house of reps and 15 house of assembly. We are going to defend what we did at the tribunal and that is not to say that there were no infractions but I will not agree with you if you say nothing was good about the elections,” Agboke submitted.