26th May, 2014
Less than a month to the governorship election in Ekiti State, most candidates have behaved well by keeping their utterances within reasonable limits. It must continue that way until Election Day for a peaceful and successful poll in Ekiti.
Past governorship elections in Ekiti were always fraught with violence and intimidation. They were seen as a do-or-die exercise where violence, intimidation and rigging, rather than the people’s choice, really mattered.
Apart from provocative utterances, some candidates even armed their supporters and mandated them to attack those seen as opponents or enemies. We believe that these dark days must be a thing of the past.
Election Day should be a day of celebration. It should be a day when people, having listened to arguments from all candidates, come out to give their verdict. They should be free to choose the candidate of their choice without fear of being attacked or influenced.
Last Saturday, party thugs unleashed terror in Ikere-Ekiti during which an ACP stalwart, Femi Ayodele, was shot and some journalists were wounded. This recourse to violence won’t do anyone any good and those who are masterminding this primitive act should retrace their steps now.
For a peaceful and successful poll in Ekiti, the candidates, their agents, the electorate and security operatives must work together and ensure that troublemakers are kept away from polling units.
The police must be on ground to maintain law and order but should not side any candidate. The police have often been accused to helping election malpractice. This should not be allowed to happen.
Dr. Kayode Fayemi, Mr. Ayodele Fayose and Opeyemi Bamidele who seem to be frontrunners have presented their cases and arguments; they should all allow the electorate on 21 June to choose who will lead them in the next four years.