Legal practitioner, Chief Niyi Akintola (SAN), has said the All Progressives Congress (APC) will only participate in the May 22 council election in Oyo State if the election would be conducted in the 33 Local Government Areas and 35 Local Council Development Areas in the state.
Akintola, who spoke with journalists in Ibadan on Thursday, chided the Oyo State Independent Electoral Commission (OYSIEC) over its decision to conduct the forthcoming local government election in the state in only 33 local government areas (LGAs).
The APC chieftain wondered why OYSIEC want to conduct election into only the 33 LGAs when the Oyo State laws that created the LCDAs had not been repealed or amended.
Making reference conduct of elections into LCDAs in some states across the country, Akintola lamented the decision of OYSIEC to sideline the 35 LCDAs in the May 22 local government election.
To avoid contravention of the Oyo State laws and for the sake of all-inclusiveness, Akintola said it was expedient for OYSIEC to consider conducting election into the 35 LCDAs.
The senior advocate added that though APC demanded a shift in the May 22 date to enable the party screen and present its candidates in the election, he pointed out that the APC will only participate in an election that is done into the 33 LGAs and 35 LCDAs.
He said: “The LCDAs were established by law and that is why we as a party say that if the election will not be held in all the local government areas including the local council development areas, we will not take part.
“You don’t expect my party to contest that election on the basis of 33 local government areas.
“OYSIEC is planning the LG election for members of PDP. If it was meant for all, I have spoken to the Chairman of OYSIEC and I have told him what should be done.
“The LCDAs were established by Oyo State laws and that law has not been repealed or amended for you to go ahead and contest election in 33 local government areas.
“We are not the first to establish LCDA in this country. It was done in Lagos, Abia, Osun. In fact, this is a new development in Oyo. I have not seen a single state that sidelined its LCDA on the basis of the LG election.
“We want a shift in date of the election because we will have wanted time to prepare for the election. Moreover, parties are to screen their candidates. But also, we demand that the election should be conducted in the 33 LGs and 35 LCDAs.”