Ekiti State Governor Ayodele Fayose has charged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the Federal Government to conduct fair and credible governorship poll in the state next year.
The governor alerted of alleged plans by some opposition politicians to use INEC and federal might to compromise the electoral process in the state with a view to stealing the people’s genuine votes.
The governor, who spoke at the weekend in reaction to the announcement by INEC of July 14, 2018 as date for the Ekiti State governorship election, expressed the readiness of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the election and assurance of victory.
“We are happy, prepared and expectant of the date for the election and it has come. I only want to appeal to INEC to live to the expectation of Nigerians by conducting a poll that is not manipulated. It must be credible. free and fair. The one we had in 2014 was rated high by local and international observers.
“In fact, the United States Government commended it and said it should be a benchmark for other elections in the country. I am aware of plans being hatched by some failed politicians that they would use INEC and federal might to take over Ekiti.
“We are on ground and nobody can use any foul means to take over Ekiti State. If they have been doing that elsewhere that won’t work here. We are on ground and we want to let them know that we will resist any attempt to manipulate anything here. Already part of their plan is to cripple the state financially and they have started that by illegal arrest and detention of our people, but the power of the people will prevail in the end.
“They are also planning to begin electronic transfer of election results with Ekiti State, no one can use us as a Guinea Pig for one useless experiment. The voters and the people of the state must decide who they want to govern them.
“It is hopeful that INEC will not succumb to pressure from those who may want to take Ekiti State by means other than free, fair and transparent electoral process and truncate the rights of Ekiti people to make their choice.
“To our teeming supporters, eternal vigilance is most required from now till the end of the election.
“I am confident that Ekiti people will resist any plot to subvert their collective wish because they have done it not once, not twice. Most importantly, support of the people of Ekiti for me and the PDP has never been in doubt.
“It is on this note that I call on the international community as well as local election observers to from now, take very strong interest in the Ekiti 2018 governorship election and monitor INEC as it begins the
processes leading to the conduct of the election.
“The international community must monitor INEC from now and see to it that the electoral commission conducts a free, fair and credible election so that the world can be assured of a hitch-free general elections in 2019.
“On our part as Ekiti people, we must pray persistently because with prayers, all the plots against our collective wish as a people will come to naught
On whether he is jittery that his party could lose the election, Fayose debunked such claim, saying if the election was held today, his party and candidate would win hands down.
“I am the voice of the opposition in Nigeria and nobody can muzzle me. We cannot all head in the same direction. We need a virile opposition for our country to reap good and great dividends of democracy. Some All Progressives Congress (APC) leaders are boasting that they had input into the appointment of some INEC top shots and that they would do their bidding, but that won’t work, the choice of the people and their voice must prevail and be heard,” he added.
The governor, however, warned the Federal Government against use of force or manipulating devices and plans in the the election, adding that democracy needed virile opposition to thrive.
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