Ekiti people will resist rigging, PDP insists
Onyebuchi Ezeigbo in Abuja Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti
As the July 14 governorship election in Ekiti State approaches, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has promised not to fail the electorate, having concluded an elaborate preparation for a hitch-free exercise.
In a related development, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has said nobody can rig the Ekiti governorship election, as the people have resolved to ensure that the exercise is free and fair.
INEC National Commissioner in charge of Ekiti, Osun and Oyo States, Mr. Solomon Soyebi and his colleague in charge of Election Operations and Logistics, Mrs. Amina Zakari, gave this assurance yesterday in Ado Ekiti, at a Pre-election Preparation Workshop organised for Electoral Officers, Assistant Electoral Officers and Heads of Departments.
â€œThere will be no room for excuses. Any Local Government Area (LGA) where this does not happen, the Electoral Officer will be responsible.You must share responsibilities with your assistants to avoid one-man show. You must also watch your utterances so as to safeguard the integrity of the exercise,â€ Soyebi said.
Zakari, a former INEC Acting Chairman, used the occasion to debunk an allegation by Governor Ayodele Fayose that she had been hired by the governorship candidate of All Progressives Congress (APC), Dr. Kayode Fayemi, to rig the election in favour of APC.
She challenged the governor and the PDP to back their allegation with evidence, saying it is impossible for an individual to rig an election.
â€œThey should prove that beyond reasonable doubt. I doubt it if an individual can rig an election when there are over 20,000 personnel to conduct the election.They should back their allegation with fact and figures. We (INEC) have nothing to hide. I see no reason why INEC would want to go back to bad old days. We are moving for forward ever and we remain focus to ensure a credible election for Nigeria,â€ she said.
Zakari added that the workshop would review work done so far and to expose officials to new ideas, processes and approach to a successful election conduct.
â€œThe workshop is to ensure proper preparations for the election. This is practice over the years, it is to ensure there is no gap between policies and implementation.
â€œIt is to aid direct interaction with departments that initiate policies and to collect ideas that will help in reshaping policies and procedure. I have no doubt that this will be well-organised and it will be adjudged as the most successful election ever conducted,â€ she added.
The Resident Electoral Commissioner in the state, Prof. Abdul-Ganiyu Raji, said the workshop was to ensure information flow between policy formulators and the implementors towards a successful conduct of the election.
Meanwhile, the PDP has said that nobody can rig the July 14, 2018 Ekiti governorship election, as the people have resolved to ensure that the exercise is free and fair.
The opposition party said the will of the people is stronger than the machinations of evil-minded persons, who are toying with the determination of the people for a free and fair electioneering.
In a statement issued by itâ€™s National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, the party warned that INEC officials working with agents of the APC to compromise the process risk the legitimate wrath of the people of the state in their iron-cast resolve to ensure that nobody subverts their will in this election.
â€œThe people of Ekiti State are already aware of the clandestine meetings between known INEC officials and APC agents, including those held at the Ondo State Government House, Akure, where plots were hatched to use INECâ€™s ICT Department to preload card readers and input false results, as well as cloning unclaimed Permanent Voter Cards (PVC) to superimpose pictures of their members from other states.
â€œThe PDP cautions these compromised INEC officers, their allies in the APC and those they planned to import from other states, to note that their tracks and footprints are all bare and that the people of Ekiti state are already at alert and ready to stop them on their trails with every potency available to them under the law,â€ he said.