Who Wins in Ekiti? Fayemi or Eleka?

Who Wins in Ekiti? Fayemi or Eleka?

We’ll Remain Neutral….INEC We Won’t Tolerate Flouting of Electoral Laws…Police Polls open this morning in the 16 local government areas of Ekiti state to determine who wins amongst the 35 candidates angling to succeed the outgoing Governor, Mr Peter Ayodele Fayose. A total of 667, 270 voters are expected to cast lot in the election,

We’ll Remain Neutral….INEC

We Won’t Tolerate Flouting of Electoral Laws…Police

Polls open this morning in the 16 local government areas of Ekiti state to determine who wins amongst the 35 candidates angling to succeed the outgoing Governor, Mr Peter Ayodele Fayose. A total of 667, 270 voters are expected to cast lot in the election, generally perceived as a straight fight between former governor and candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC), Dr John Kayode Fayemi and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Prof Kolapo Olusola Eleka, also the state’s deputy governor..

The Resident Electoral Commissioner in Ekiti State, Prof. Abdulganiy Raji, has warned those who have no Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) to stay away from polling units during the conduct of Saturday’s state governorship election.

According to him, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) gave enough time for registered voters to collect their PVCs and lodge complaints before the process ended on Wednesday.

He said although a Rapid Response Squad would be positioned at strategic locations during the election, no armed policeman would be at any of the polling units so that the electorate would not feel intimidated.

He said, “INEC in Ekiti is fully prepared for the election. We have 913,334 voters registered, out of which 667,270 have collected their permanent voter cards.

“This means that 667,270 will vote in Saturday’s election.”

Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu has said that the Ekiti State Governorship Poll will affirm the “maturity of the country’s democracy” even as he attested that the Commission’s officials will “remain neutral”.

“I wish to reassure that our officials are under strict instruction to remain neutral. We have also accredited credible foreign and local observers to monitor this election. We are confident that with the arrangements we have put in place, Ekiti State governorship election will be another good example of free, fair, credible and peaceful election and a further affirmation of the maturity of our democracy,” he said.

Yakubu who revealed that a total of 667,064 voters are expected to vote in Saturday’s Ekiti State governorship election during the stakeholders’ meeting held in Ado-Ekiti, the capital of the state, said the Commission decided to distribute the Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) to the ward level to motivate the electorate to be able to exercise their franchise.

“For transparency, all uncollected PVCs will be brought to INEC office in Ado Ekiti and warehoused for safe keeping until a new date is fixed to resume the PVC collection. However, since the Anambra State Governorship Election held in November 2017, we have introduced an additional measure of transparency”, he said.

The stakeholders’ meeting convened by the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Ibrahim Idris in collaboration with INEC ended in uproar due to disruption of the meeting half way by supporters of both the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressive Congress (APC).

Earlier, the Inspector General of Police, Mr Ibrahim Idris warned political leaders and their supporters not to engage the services of thugs, noting whoever was arrested would be dealt with according to laws guiding the conduct of elections.

“We want all party supporters to refrain from all acts that can precipitate violence at the polling booths such as canvassing for votes, wearing of party insignia, dissuading voters from voting for candidates of their choice, loitering and blaring of siren on the day of election. We will also not tolerate ignoring of restriction of movement orders by the police. Don’t see election as a matter of life and death.”

“Let me state that the police will not hesitate to deal with anybody no matter how highly placed found flouting electoral laws. Let me call for the collaboration and support of the entire sister agencies and the INEC officials. Police officers have been warned to be of good conduct during and after the election. If you notice any misconduct on the part of any police, do not hesitate to report to the senior officers on the ground or contact me directly,” he said.

Meanwhile, Civil Society organizations (CSO), under the umbrella of Situation Room, has challenged security agencies to arrest and prosecute any politician seen inducing the electorate with money or other materials.

Making the call during their first preliminary report on the Ekiti governorship election, Clement Nwankwo, chairman of the Coalition, said the menace of monetised politics should be tackled in the country to sanitise the electoral system.

The body commended the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the security agencies on the peaceful and orderly manners with which sensitive materials that would be deployed for the conduct of the poll were distributed on Friday.

Situation Room coalition consists of CSOs like; Cleen Foundation, Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD), Youth Initiative for Advocacy, Policy and Legal Advocacy Centre (PLAC), among others.

It urged security agencies to shun act of intimidation on the day of election to prevent apathy and that the 30,000 personnel deployed in Ekiti must be evenly spread to ensure safety cross all the towns and villages.

“We have made recommendations to the security agencies on how to tackle vote buying. It is a serious electoral offence that must not be allowed in our country. So, our security must be up and doing and remain committed to the success of this poll”, he advised.

Nwankwo commended the security agencies for sustaining peace on the eve of the election, describing this as a sign that the election will be orderly and credible.

It observed that “The political parties must conduct themselves in a manner that does not encourage violence by their supporters, as they will be held liable for their activities that trigger violence.”

“We call on the security agencies, including the Army, Police and others to assure election observers and electorate of their personal safety. We urge voters to go out and peacefully to cast their votes in exercise of their constitutional rights to be part of the democratic process.”

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