Osun: IPAC rejects nomination of OSIEC chair, Hashim Abioye

By Ismail Azeez, Osogbo

The Inter Party Advisory Council, (IPAC) Osun State, has rejected the nomination of Barrister Hashim Abioye as the Chairman, Osun Independent Electoral Commission (OSIEC).

The council also noted that the leadership of the Osun State Independent Electoral Commission (OSIEC) as constituted by Governor Ademola Adeleke cannot conduct a credible election in the state.

It would be recalled that Adeleke had on Thursday forwarded the name of Barrister Hashim Abioye as the Chairman, Osun Independent Electoral Commission, OSIEC, to the State’s House of Assembly for confirmation.

But IPAC while reacting to the development said the person announced as Chairman of the electoral umpire in the state is a card-carrying member of the Peoples Democratic Party( PDP), and a serving Senior Special Assistant to Gov. Adeleke on legal matters.

In a statement by the chairmen of political parties under the aegis of IPAC, Hon. Wale Adebayo, on Friday, threatened to mobilise members of all the opposition parties in the state to stage protests across the nooks and crannies of the state capital.

Adebayo said, “Today, as the Chairman of the Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC) in Osun, I stand before you alongside my esteemed colleagues to express our strong opposition to the appointment of Barrister Hassim Abioye as the Chairman of the Osun State Independent Electoral Commission (OSIEC).

“The appointment of Barrister Hassim Abioye raises serious doubts about the integrity and fairness of the upcoming elections. There are three crucial points we would like to bring to your attention regarding this appointment.

“Firstly, it has come to our knowledge that Barrister Hassim Abioye was once the caretaker secretary of the ruling party.

“This fact alone casts a shadow of doubt on his ability to act independently and ensure the impartiality that is essential for a transparent electoral process. The head of OSIEC should ideally be a neutral figure, devoid of any political connections that could compromise the integrity of the entire electoral system.

“Secondly, it is deeply concerning that Barrister Hassim Abioye was a member of the legal team that actively fought against OSIEC during the last administration.

“This raises questions about his motivation and commitment to the values of a free and fair electoral process.

“How can we expect unbiased decisions from someone who has been involved in legal battles against the very institution he is now set to lead?

“Lastly, and most importantly, Barrister Hassim Abioye currently holds the position of Special Adviser on Legal Matters. While we appreciate the importance of such a role, we cannot overlook the inherent conflict of interest that arises from this appointment. The closeness to the executive branch and the potential for undue influence on decision-making within OSIEC cannot be ignored. This has the potential to severely undermine the trust and legitimacy of the electoral commission.

“IPAC, as the umbrella body representing all political parties in Osun, categorically opposes this appointment. It is our duty to safeguard the principles of democracy and ensure that every citizen’s right to a free, fair, and transparent electoral process is protected.

“Today, we call upon the state government to reconsider this appointment. We implore them to rescind this decision and recognize the importance of appointing an individual who possesses the necessary qualities and qualifications to lead OSIEC with utmost integrity and impartiality.

“Furthermore, we appeal to the State Assembly not to confirm such an appointment. Their role is vital in upholding the principles of good governance and fairness, and they hold the power to ensure that those appointed to positions of authority are truly qualified and capable.

“In conclusion, let us stand united as we demand accountability and uphold the tenets of democracy. We call upon all stakeholders, civil society organizations, and every concerned citizen to join us in our crusade for a transparent and equitable electoral process.”

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