The Oasis Reporters
October 10, 2020
Reading through the intimidating bio of the INEC Chief Returning Officer in the Ondo State gubernatorial election ongoing now, one keeps wondering why the distinguished Professor Eyitope Ogungbenro Ogunbodede has not voluntarily quit that position.
As the INEC’s (Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission) Returning Officer overseeing the Ondo State gubernatorial election, where his kinsman, the Ondo State governor, Rotimi Akeredolu is locked in contest with Eyitayo Jegede of the PDP, was born on the 23rd of January, 1957 in the ancient city of Owo in Ondo State. Owo is the hometown of Governor Rotimi Akeredolu as well.
Professor Ogunbodede’s bio says that he served as Chairperson, Ethics and Research Committee of the OAUTHC from 2004 to 2009. Similarly, for five (5) years (2006 – 2011), he served on the Central Monitoring Committee for External Grants and Sponsorships in the University. He represented the University on the Joint Management Committee of the OAUTHC from 1999 to 2002. Now, this says a lot about the professor. To be the chairperson of an ethics committee says a lot about such a person’s ethical background, in a well appointed university like OAU, Ile Ife.
In addition, his bio also says he has an exemplary understanding of fund raising for institutional development, which earned him the Chair of the Gifts and Donations Acceptance Policy Drafting Committee between 2010 and 2011.
He therefore understands issues surrounding gifts, Greek gifts and their possible intentions.
Students of his bio are further told that even fourteen (14) years after his promotion to the rank of a professor, Eyitope Ogunbodede bagged a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree from the University of the Western Cape, South Africa in the year 2014, showing that seeking for higher callings and attainments are his forte.
The Owo born Ondo state governor, Rotimi Akeredolu was born in 1956, while the Chief Returning Officer, Professor Eyitope Ogunbodede was born a year after, in 1957. That makes the two Owo born great men, contemporaries. Perhaps, school mates, that is if they were not classmates in primary school.
Therefore, in a contest between his clansman and another person from a different part of Ondo State, this, does open the process to suspicion and bias .
It would have been really nice if the Prof had excused himself from this assignment. It would have served Gov. Akeredolu more in the event of him winning the vote.