The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the Peoples Democratic Movement (PDM), Democratic Peoples Party (DPP) and All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) in Osun State came under attacks at the weekend, for calling for the removal of the stateâ€™s Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Mr. Rufus Akeju.
A coalition of progressive political parties christened the Alliance of Collaborating Political Parties (ACPP) chided the political parties for calling for Akejuâ€™s removal, noting that the political parties were insensitive on their attacks on Akejuâ€™s personality.
Alongside three other political parties, PDP had called the Chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Attahiru Jega, to redeploy Akeju from the state on the allegation that he was a staff of former Lagos State Governor, Bola Tinubu.
The parties made the call at the stakeholdersâ€™ meeting between INEC and leaders of all political parties in the state on the August 9, 2014 governorship election in the state.
Reacting to the action of the PDP and other political parties, the ACPP rejected call for Akejuâ€™s removal on the ground that the allegation against the INEC umpire was frivolous.
A coalition of political parties that formed the ACPP include National Conscience Party (NCP); African Democratic Congress (ADC); Progress Peoples Alliance(PPA), United Progressive Party (UPP), United Democratic Party(UDP); Citizens Democratic Party (CPP); African Peoples Alliance (APA), New Nigerian Peoples Party (NNPP) and All Progressive Congress (APC).
In a statement signed by its acting Chairman, Mr. Adetunji Oyolola and Secretary, Dr. Idowu Omidiji, the coalition condemned the PDP in particular for what it described as a campaign of calumny against Akeju.
The coalition explained that the PDP was mischievous for its persistent calls for Akejuâ€™s redeployment even as it could not produce any evidence â€œto buttress its allegations.
The statement stated: â€œThe 2011 elections in Osun was free and fair under the watch of the REC-Akeju and the only candidate of PDP in the House of Representatives Election in Obokun/Oriade Federal Constituency that challenged the election result lost at the tribunal and the Court of Appeal.
â€œThe election conducted by the REC in 2011 in the state was peaceful, free and fair and thus no political party has basis to condemn Akeju.â€ The coalition described the PDPâ€™s allegation against Akeju as baseless, reckless and apparently self-seeking.
â€œWe believe the wholly undemocratic attitude of the PDP and its three allied political parties only became manifest as they sought to impose their evil design not only on INEC but on the majority of political parties in the State who have no complaints about the performance of the REC.
â€œWe want to put it on record that the 2011 elections conducted when the REC was in charge was free and fair and the only candidate of the PDP in that election, Oluwole Oke, lost his petition challenging the elections both at the Election Petition Tribunal and the Court of Appeal.
â€œAll other candidates at the election did not challenge the election at the Tribunal. We also want to put on record that the case instituted by the PDP against the REC over the 2011 elections was dismissed by the Federal High Court.â€
The coalition urged the INEC to disregard the planned, orchestrated, dramatized and false protestation of the PDP and three other parties, saying their design was â€œto look for pliable officials that will be ready to rig elections in their favour.â€