Ondo State News

Election Crisis: No evidence of coercion against choice candidate in Oba Akoko, says C’ttee Chair

The Committee of Inquiry set up by the Ondo State government to investigate the crisis that erupted at Oba-Akoko on March 9, 2019, during the House of Assembly election in the state has revealed that there was no evidence of coercion or force against the community choiced candidate in the election.

The Chairman of Inquiry, Dr. Femi Awani, made the disclosure while submitting the report of the committee to the State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN in his office in Akure on Monday.

He revealed that the crisis was due to the conduct of the principal actors identified in the report, saying that the majority in the community had agreed to support their kinsmen in the election, and that there was no evidence of coercion, force or violence in the pursuit of such an agenda.

It would be recalled that following the crisis that erupted at Oba-Akoko on March 9, 2019, during the House of Assembly election, the State Government set up a 5- Man Committee of Inquiry to investigate the crisis and make recommendations to government.

The Chairman explained that the committee members had series of meetings and paid visits to the affected community for firsthand information and arrangement for public hearings on the memoranda received from interested parties.

He added that the committee equally met privately with security agencies and thereafter held several meetings to deliberate on its findings before coming up with its recommendations.

He disclosed that the youths in Oba-Akoko masterminded the widespread civil disobedience by barricading the roads and attacking the security agents deployed to nip the crisis in the bud.

The Chairman confirmed that evidence before the committee showed that the House of Assembly election at Oba-Akoko was peaceful, orderly, free, fair and credible up till about 2pm when the election had been completed successfully in most of the polling units.

Receiving the report, Ondo State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, appreciated the committee for its commitment to the assignment with a promise to study the report carefully so as to take decisions that will address the issues that brought about the unfortunate crisis.

The governor recalled that he had to lift the restrictions of movement clamped on the community at the wake of the avoidable and regrettable incident as a result of the passionate plea and unreserved apologies the people tendered to the State Government.

He assured that government would continue to work towards sustaining policies that would ensure peace across communities in the state.

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