By G9ija

Ondo State Independent Electoral Commission (ODIEC) is distributing non-sensitive materials to units and wards ahead of April 18 council elections, it was learnt.

ODIEC said nine parties would participate in the elections, and  that it would begin sensitisation of the electorate.

Chairman Prof. Yomi Dinakin, who spoke at a media parley in Akure, said over 6,000 ad hoc workers would be recruited and trained.

Dinakin explained the body lacked powers to disqualify candidates, but aggrieved candidates could seek redress in the court.

Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP’s) Publicity Secretary Zadok Akintoye said the party would boycott the polls because it did not trust Dinakin to conduct a credible election.

According to him, Dinakin, a friend of Governor Oluwarotimi Rotimi, would announce prepared results.

He said the party would have been comfortable if results were announced at wards instead of a central location as planned by ODIEC.

“ODIEC is very biased. Our not participating in the election will not affect our chances during the governorship elections. You should know that ODIEC is responsible to its paymaster, which is the government.”

But Prof. Dinakin said his job was to conduct credible polls’ candidates or parties feeling otherwise could approach the tribunal or courts.

Seven parties will field candidates for chairman on April 18, it was learnt yesterday.

Only six parties are contesting as councillors.

Besides  All Progressives Congress (APC), which is fielding candidates in all 203 wards and 18 councils, African Democratic Congress (ADC) and African Action Congress (AAC) fielded six candidates for chairman.

This was on the list released by Prof. Dinakin.

He said candidates of 13 parties were screened before names were displayed.

The don assured parties the elections would be credible.

Some party chieftains expressed satisfaction with the process. Publicity Secretary of Social Democratic Party (SDP), Remi Olayiwola, said the party was prepared for the polls.