Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti
Ekiti State Governor, Mr. Ayodele Fayose, has faulted the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, on the reasons for the renewed electoral violence in the country.
Fayose said: “Violence returned to our electoral process because of INEC partisanship and manipulation of the electoral process in favour of the All Progressives Congress (APC).”
He said: “Rather than lamenting, the INEC chairman should return the electoral commission to what he met by detaching it from the APC, which INEC has obviously merged with,” adding that; “if INEC is neutral as it used to be before APC took power, there won’t be electoral violence.”
In a statement issued yesterday, by his Special Assistant on Public Communication, Lere Olayinka, Governor Fayose said: “There were elections in Nigeria between 2011 and 2015, and those elections were credible, such that Nigerians were sure that popular candidates and parties would emerge victorious because votes were allowed to count.
“Then, violence was no longer part of our electoral process. But
sadly, this present INEC has destroyed all those gains and returned Nigeria to the era of ballot box snatching.
“By returning to the old system of accreditation and voting at the same time, and destroying the credibility of our electoral process, such that unpopular candidates are now having an edge over and above those acceptable to the people, INEC by itself caused the electoral violence witnessed in the last 12 months.
“Even judges that will sit on election matters are now pre-arranged and picked even before the election, such that after using INEC and security agencies to pervert the will of the people, tribunals are used to authenticate the electoral fraud.
Meanwhile, Fayose yesterday signed the state’s 2017 Budget of N94 billion into law.
It was an increase of N1billion against the estimates of N93 billion presented to the state House of Assembly by the governor some weeks ago.
According to the Speaker, Hon. Kola Oluwawole, the extra N1 billion was added to the capital expenditure presented to the assembly. Fayose said Ekiti was among the four states of the federation where the 2017 Budgets had been passed into law.