Ekiti: INEC, police promise credible gov poll

Tinubu, 14 APC governors campaign for Oyebanji

The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof Mahmood Yakubu; and the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba, on Tuesday assured all stakeholders that necessary arrangements had been put in place to ensure transparency and security in the Saturday’s governorship election in Ekiti State.

While Yakubu reassured the people of the state that the decision of who would become the next governor would be that of the electorate through their votes, Baba said necessary security deployment had been made so that people could cast their votes without fear of molestation.

The INEC chairman and the police chief spoke in Ado Ekiti, the state capital, during a stakeholders’ meeting ahead of the election.

The INEC boss said, “Let me assure political parties and voters that the task of electing a new governor will be left in the hands of voters.

“We won’t take any action to the advantage or disadvantage of any particular party or candidate. We are going to do everything according to the 1999 Constitution and provisions of the Electoral Act, 2022.”

Yakubu stated that four INEC national commissioners and eight Resident Electoral Commissioners had been deployed to ensure the conduct of credible election, adding 76 per cent of the 988,923 registered voters in the state had collected their Permanent Voter Cards as at Monday; saying they still had the opportunity to obtain the PVCs till Thursday.

Baba, who assured residents of adequate security before and after the election, disclosed that different security agencies, including the military, had deployed personnel for the election, not to intimidate law-abiding citizens, but to ensure a hitch-free exercise.

The IG, who said the 177 wards and 2,445 polling units would be manned by appropriate manpower, stated, “Those who want to constitute clog in the wheel of progress will face the consequences of their actions. National security should be of priority and uppermost in our minds. Let us conduct this election in the most civil manner.”

Meanwhile, the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, and 14 APC governors were in Ado Ekiti, on Tueday to campaign for the party’s governorship candidate in the election, Biodun Oyebanji.

APC leaders, including the National Chairman, Senator Abdullahi Adamu; National Secretary, Senator Iyiola Omisore, National Assembly members and pioneer national chairman, Chief Bisi Akande, also appealed to Ekiti people to vote en masse for the party’s governorship candidate on Saturday to ensure continuity of APC-led government’s developmental strides in the state.

Tinubu, who also represented the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), at the event, which was the grand finale of the Ekiti APC governorship campaign rallies, called on the electorate in the state to “use your PVCs to vote Biodun Oyebanji on Saturday.”

He urged the people not to take chances in the choice of their next leader, but to cast their votes for Oyebanji, who he described as “a man of integrity who had contributed immensely to the growth of the state and was ever passionate about its development.”

Tinubu said that the revolution started by APC in 2015 by sweeping away the PDP, which was sustained in 2019 should be allowed to reach an enviable height by voting for APC in all elections in the country including the Saturday election in Ekiti.

He also appealed to aggrieved APC members in the state to sheathe their swords.

Kebbi State Governor, Abubakar Bagudu, who said the APC governors were in Ekiti State to give support to Oyebanji and seek the voters’ support for him on Saturday, said, “Electing the APC candidate, Oyebanji in the election will mean continuing the good works that Governor Kayode Fayemi has been doing.”

Other governors in attendance included Rotimi Akeredolu (Ondo), Babajide Sanwo-Olu (Lagos), Abdullahi Ganduje (Kano), Dapo Abiodun (Ogun), Gboyega Oyetola (Osun), Nasir el-Rufai (Kaduna), Abdulrazaq Abdurahman (Kwara), Inuwa Yahaya (Gombe), Solomon Lalong (Plateau), Abdullahi Sule (Nasarawa), Abubakar Badaru (Jigawa), and Babagaba Zulum (Borno).

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