Controversy As Ekiti Holds Council Polls Today
AMID controversy and boycott by 16 political parties, the Ekiti State Independent Electoral Commission (EKSIEC) will today conduct local council elections to the 16 local governments in the state. The election, which the Conference of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP) dismissed as being skewed towards pre-determined results, will hold amid tight security as thes Police Command said no fewer than 5,000 policemen will work with other security agencies to ensure hitch -ee election.
The main opposition party in the state, All Progressive Congress (APC) is among other 15 political parties to boycott the polls for lack of confidence in the state electoral body which they said was partisan and full of card-carrying members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)
But an Ekiti High Court had on Wednesday dismissed APC’s case challenging the composition of the electoral body. The party has vowed to appeal the judgment.
Aside PDP, other political parties that will participate in the election include: KOWA, African People Alliance (APA), United Peoples Party (UPP) and Peoples Party of Nigeria (PPN).
He also assured all the participating parties of a level playing field. The Police Public Relations Officer in Ekiti, Mr Alberto Adeyemi, said the policemen would work in conjunction with other sister agencies such as the Department of State Services (DSS), the Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) and Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS).
Besides, no fewer than 7,000 officials of State Independent Electoral Commission made up of regular and ad-hoc staff would supervise the elections in 2,195 Polling Units spread across the 177 wards in the state.
Adeyemi warned those with criminal intentions to steer clear of the elections, threatening that the command would punish whoever is found perpetrating crime during the polls. He said a meeting will be held at the instance of the Commissioner of Police, Mr Etop James in Ado Ekiti on Friday (yesterday) evening to fine-tune arrangements for the conduct of the elections.
“He said the police would ensure compliance with the restriction order placed on vehicular and human movements between 8am and 4pm.
Meanwhile, the Ekiti State Chapter of the CNPP has accused EKSIEC of undemocratic approach towards today’s poll. A statement jointly signed by its Chairman, Prince Tunji Ogunlola and spokesperson, Kunle Omotayo at their end of the year meeting condemned what they called “shoddy preparation of the state electoral empire on their inability to carry all other political parties along till date”.
The Conference passed a vote of no confidence on the electoral body chairman, Justice Kayode Bamisile and accused him of issuing contradictory statements about the parties which fielded candidates for the polls. Bamisile was quoted to have said “only PDP candidates obtained nomination forms” only for him to say a day after that five other political parties also obtained nomination forms.
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