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Scrap state electoral bodies, PDP chieftain urges FG

Comrade Esinrogunjo Mubaudeen is a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in KwaraState. He spoke to our Kwara Correspondent, Abdulazeez Kayode, on the state of the nation and the need to scrap states independent electoral commissions etc.Excerpts.
As an opposition party candidate in the last local government election, what can you say about opposition parties chance in the 2019 elections?
A lot of things are happening when you talk of party politics, I only see parties as an instrument where every individual can contest an election.We are already hearing different rumors about who is coming to the PDP but we are not intimidated because we are committed members of the PDP that want to liberate the masses sincerely.Our chance of winning elections is very bright because the last local government election signified that the masses want us based on our sincere programmes.
Despite the fact that the All Progressives Congress, APC, rigged the election, all the malpractices they put in place, we were able to identify them. In my own local government I got 26,000 votes and they had 6,000 how can somebody with 6,000 now become chairman? An election that the masses were already jubilating in my favour after they got results from various pooling units,even in the process of their jubilation around the town they were arrested and they are still in court up till now,it is a signal that KwaraState Independent Electoral Commission,KWASIEC, lacks merit and that is why we are calling on the federal government to scrap all state independent electoral bodies because they are only subjected to the views and yearnings of state governments instead of being a neutral body.
When you look at the last local government election we won the ruling party’s candidate, but they went ahead and wrote results in favour of government because they are fully in charge of the state electoral commission. So our chances are very bright in 2019 that the federal Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, will be in control.
Do you still have hope in your acclaimed stolen mandate coupled with the fact that it is the Senate president’s local government?
There is nothing like the Senate president’s local government, the local government belongs to the people of KwaraState, he aspired for the position and people voted for him. And now the people arenot getting what they expected from him, they still have that power to vote against him and bring in whoever they want. It is about the masses not an individual. GoodluckJonathan was the president in 2015,Buhari came and they voted Jonathan out despite that he had incumbency power, security, money and whatsoever. Jonathan allowed the people’s mandate to stand by conceding defeat. That was what I expected theSenate president to do, he should have allowed the masses choice to stand and show leadership quality like Jonathan did.
But unfortunately for them, upturning the resulthas caused them more embarrassment. We expected him to say give it to the young man that won the election. Although we are already in court, for instance,they announced 19,000 votes for their candidate and 18,000 for me,while election atAdewole Ward is yet to be conducted with 15,330+ votes in that ward alone which they know is my stronghold. I even said fine, if that is the same result you people announced I still accept it that way let us go back and conduct Adewole Ward election and let the whole world watch, as I am talking to you now there is no councillor in Adewole Ward, that alone is an evidence that there was no election in Adewole.
The electoral law states that a bye-election should beconductedin two weeks and now they have violated it. They deliberately refused to conduct election in Adewole Ward, while their candidate is in office as chairman. I will win them hands down any time they conduct election there. I have taken them to court, let it compelKWASIEC to conduct election there, but it has been adjournment upon adjournment, despite that we are not telling them to give us our stolen mandate, all we are saying is conduct the remaining election in Adewole Ward. That is why we are opposing anything that would be in full control of the state government because it will only be used to their advantage.
Some states like Oyo recently conducted a bye-election and the PDP won in an APC controlled state. The same thing in Kaduna State and they declared them, but in Kwara, they upturned everything. It is so pathetic that democracy is not demonstrated in the Senate president’s state.
Do you think we are politically matured to give full control of local government election to state electoral commissions?
Nobody will ever agree to that because they do not always conduct election, what they do most times is to write results. If it were to be INEC that conducted our election, I would have been in office by now. So how can you support that state independent electoral commissionsshould be in charge of local government election where they openly tell you that they are subjected to the government even before the election? You can imagine KWASIEC saying we are under the state government, while they call it Kwara State Independent Electoral Commission, the worse of it is that aspirants paid tax clearance N250,000, KWASIEC form N250,000 and other payments and you are still telling us that it is government that gives you funds and automatically you must do its bidding and declare their candidates winner. If that is happening at the federal level,Buhari would not have been our president.
What is your view on the current political activities in the country?
You can see! The other time they said PDP is not good when we were approaching the 2015 election and they negotiated with APC. After three years, the same set of people are now reformed APC just eight months to the elections. They are clamouring to come to back to the PDP. Do these people even have integrity? Are they really after the welfare and interest of citizens? All they are pursuing are personal interest. I do not see leadership qualities in anyone of them, I stand to be challenged. If they truly know that they have merit there are lots of political partiesand that is why I respect Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.He would have come up with an unpopular party and stand with it to win an election, this is the kind of leader that we need not those that believe they can go and maneuver their ways in a popular party before winning an elections. If rAPC truly believes in its capacity to deliver they should go and form a new political party.

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