As the July 14 2018 governorship election in Ekiti state draws nearer, the INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner, REC, in the state, Prof. Abdul-Ganiyu Olayinka Raji, has reassured Ekiti voters that the electoral umpire “is not prepared to compromise core values of autonomy, transparency, integrity and excellence among others”.
Speaking at a town hall meeting organised by Democracy Vanguard, a civil society organisation working on good governance and democracy, the INEC chief, who was represented by Mr. Taiwo Gbadegesin, the INEC Public Relations Officer, said the agency is “committed to conduct a free, fair and credible election for sustainable democracy in Ekiti State”.
The REC identified poverty, voter apathy and illiteracy, greed and thirst for power at all costs, corruption as factors that hinder free, fair and credible elections. He therefore recommended strongly that “erring officials and security operatives found wanting on election duties should be severely punished according to the dictates of the law while other civil society groups in Ekiti State should tow the path of Democracy Vanguard in sensitizing the electorates”.
The town hall session had Dr. Dare Ayeni, a lecturer of Democratic Studies and Public Policy represented by a public policy analyst, Demola Olarewaju, and a Chief Superintendent of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps in Ekiti State, Mr. Yusuff Odunayo as discussants.
The guest discussants reviewed previous governorship elections in Ekiti state between 1999 and 2014 and drew up lessons for INEC and Security agencies ahead of the 14th July 2018 governorship election.
In her words, the State Coordinator of the group, Mrs Yetunde Adeoluwa said
“Never again shall political killings, financial inducements, do-or-die politics, violence, ballot snatching, and political hallelujahs be heard in Ekiti State.
“We shall embark on aggressive community sensitization in all the 177wards with our One Man- One Vote Campaign message. Our Votes must count.
Democracy Vanguard’s National Coordinator, Comrade Adeola Soetan assured the voters that all resources shall be deployed to ensure that the choice of the people come 14th July is sworn-in by 16th October 2018.