Ekiti People Vote Saturday To Pick Their Governor

Ekiti People Vote Saturday To Pick Their Governor

The people of Ekiti State will vote for their governor for the next four years at 2,195 polling units and 2, 803 voting points across the state Saturday.

The build-up to today’s election had been so tension-soaked and crisis-ridden. It is hoped that the exercise would be hitch-free and credible, considering the fact that it will serve as in-road to the 2019 polls.

Barring any unforeseen circumstances, the election will be a two-way horse race between the candidate of All Progressives Congress (APC) Dr. Kayode Fayemi and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate and godson of the out-going governor of the state, Ayodele Fayose, Prof. Olusola Eleka.

Meanwhile, despite all the political brickbats between the major political parties, PDP and APC, the state was very peaceful yesterday with heavy presence of security personnel at all nooks and crannies of the state.

Also Friday, the old Governor’s Office and Secretariat in Ado-Ekiti was allegedly turned to cashpoint as voters trooped in to receive money in preparation for today’s poll.

The voters started visiting the former secretariat located at Oke Bareke around 11:00am, in trickles, but the news spread like wild-fire, leading to mass movement of voters into the venue with their Permanent Voters Card (PVC).

People thronged the collection points to be accredited by some designated officials, who were allegedly members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

According to one of the beneficiaries, who simply identified herself as Iya Mary Eleja: “I was called by my neighbour that the PDP was distributing money, so I had to rush here to get my own.

“After I had lined up for like one hour, it got to my turn and the person in charge cross-checked my voters card to check my unit, ward and where I will vote tomorrow. I was given N4, 000 though some people got N5, 000,” she said.

The inducement of voters went on uninhibited for hours and the population of voters who scrambled to get their own share of what they termed owo ibo, meaning, “election money,” soared tremendously.

A Civil Society Organization (CSO), Situation Room, HAS condemned the financial inducement, stressing that stiffer sanctions should be meted on whosoever was found guilty of electoral offence.

Addressing journalists, the Chairman of the Coalition, Mr. Clement Nwankwo, decried the monetisation of election by politicians, saying it must be nipped in the mud.

Nwankwo, who clamoured for the prompt sanitisation of the nation’s electoral system, implored security agencies to desist from the act of being used to intimidate the electorate.

He added that 30,000 police personnel and other security agencies mobilised to Ekiti State must be deployed evenly across the nooks and crannies of the state.

“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.

He lauded 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.

The group insisted 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.

The candidate of Mega Party of Nigeria, Bisi Ayeni, decried the buying and selling of votes, warning that “it would result into vicious circle of poverty with multiplier effects on the economy and people.

“That is totally wrong,” he said, faulting INEC for not taking proactive measures to stop monetisation of election in the country. He revealed that most parties spend more than the N200 million which was pegged for election in the country.

But the PDP South West Publicity Secretary, Mr. Ayo Fadaka, denied the incident, revealing that what happened between the party and their supporters was a pep talk to consolidate on their successes.

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