A group of distinguished elders from Ekiti State, Igbimo Ure Ekiti (IUE), have called on President Muhammadu Buhari to address the palpable fear that the Army may be used in the July 14 governorship election in the state, by ensuring that the armed forces are not involved in a constitutionally civil matter.
At a meeting with journalists in Lagos yesterday, the IUE, led by its President, Julius Adeluyi-Adelusi, a former Minister of Health, commended the security agencies for their good work in 2014, stating that benchmark must be the least expected for the 2018 election.
The group tasked the police and other security agencies to be vigilant, fair and promote even-handedness throughout the election period.
Adeluyi-Adelusi said, â€œThe earlier we began to instil confidence in the ability and the capacity of the Nigerian Police Force together with other civil security agencies for the prevention and detection of crime, apprehension of offenders, protection of lives and properties, preservation of law and order and due enforcement of our laws and regulations including our electoral laws, regulations and guidelines, the better for our democracy.â€
The group warned that there will be grave consequences to any political party or individual that encourages violent disruption of the electoral process, noting that it had a duty to protect the safety and security of its people. â€œThe need for the safety and security of the people must be of paramount concern to the political players. There will be consequences for any politician that maybe involved in any act of violence before, during, and after the July 2018 election in the state. We believe we have the capacity not only to give this warning, but also to enforce it.â€
Explaining the disciplinary measure that may be applied against errant politicians, a member of the IUE, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), hinted that the sponsors of delinquent behaviours may be excommunicated by the larger Ekiti public and the class of educated people.
The IUE statement read in part, â€œWe vividly remember that our forebears sacrificed life and limb to protect the integrity and fundamental values which make up the hallmark of the Ekiti people. Our own generation is not about to abandon the pursuit and sustainability of the virtues of integrity and uncommon bonding, a heritage for which Ekiti people have been known for generations.â€
Other distinguished members of the IUE at the conference included, a former Group Managing Director of Odua Group of Companies, Sir. Remi Omotosho; former Managing Director of Triumph of Merchant Bank, Chief Esan Ogunleye; former Managing Director of UAC Plc, Mr.Ayo Ajayi; Professor Banji Akintoye, Mr. Gbenga Oyebode, Mr. Dele Adesina (SAN), Mr. Dare Babarinsa, a famous journalist, Chief Femi Ekundayo, Managing Director of Resort Group and Mrs. Regina Obasa, a former Permanent Secretary.
The eminent leaders claimed that it had no political affiliation.
Adeluyi-Adelusi said on their behalf that, â€œOur mission is to provide thought leadership and direction for our people on matters pertaining to the overall interest and development of Ekiti Stateâ€.
â€œWe leverage on the robust intellectual endowment, the various and overwhelming experience of our members in the different disciplines, professions, vocations and businesses, as well as the unique homogeneity of our people in Ekiti State, to optimally harness the resources in the state, in order to achieve a politically stable, economically viable and peaceful environment for the betterment and progress of Ekiti people. There is also the issue of maintenance of law and order to ensure a free, fair and transparent process to guarantee that the will of the people prevails at the end of the election,â€ he explained.