Victor Ogunje in Ado-Ekiti
As the Ekiti State governorship election holds on July 14, the American Government has again restated that it expects nothing less than credible and fair exercise, saying it will closely monitor events, before, during and after the poll.
This was stated in Ado-Ekiti by the Political/Economic Chief, United States Consulate, Lagos, Mr. Osman Tat, during a courtesy visit to the state Governor, Mr. Ayodele Fayose, on Wednesday in Ado Ekiti.
In a statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr Idowu Adelusi, on Thursday, the envoy was quoted as saying that the conduct of the poll should set a higher standard in the organisation of elections in the country.
â€œWe are here for the monitoring of events leading to the conduct of the governorship election in the state. We are here to see the governor, to assess the situation of things and to dialogue with him on preparations for the election. America is interested in the election.
â€œWe are to monitor purposely to ensure free, fair, transparent election. We are to ensure that there is no violence or intimidation of voters during the election. To ensure that the election is credible. Ekiti is controlled by the opposition party and that is why the US is interested in the election,â€ Tat said.
In his remarks, Fayose thanked the American Government for taking interest in the Ekiti election.
He told the envoy of plans by the All Progressives Congress (APC) -led federal government to use federal might to rig the election.
â€œThey are planning to do this because they know that in a transparent and credible election, the APC cannot win in Ekiti State. We are popular and our party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), is popular because of our performance in government and my brand of politics.
â€œIn 2014, I defeated Dr. Kayode Fayemi, even as he was the sitting governor then. The United States applauded the 2014 election and even recommended it as a benchmark for the 2015 general elections because it was transparent and devoid of violence and intimidation of voters. The letter written by the American Government on the election is still
here for the records.
â€œEkiti people will resist rigging. They will resist the federal government or the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) rubbishing their votes. The peopleâ€™s might is greater and potent more than the federal might,â€ he said.
Tat, who was accompanied by some American Embassy officials, made the visit as a follow up to an earlier one led by the American Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Williams Stuart Symington, some months ago.