U.S govt, PDP warn against rigging as 40 candidates gear up for Ekiti guber polls

The United States government says it expects nothing less than credible and fair exercise in the Ekiti State governorship election which holds on July 14, adding it wil 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.

“We 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.

“We 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,” Tat said.

Meanwhile, the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Uche Secondus, has said there will be crisis if the forthcoming Ekiti State governorship election is rigged.

Secondus disclosed this at the flag-off of PDP’s Local Government election campaign in Port-Harcourt, Rivers state capital.

He said that the PDP is united to take over governance in 2019 from the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) led government with the help of Nigerians.

He said that the PDP will provide the leadership that will create platforms of the unity for Nigerians.

“The forthcoming Ekiti State election is going to be a litmus test. We saw all that happened in Kaduna last Saturday.  PDP won in all local government areas, but they over-turned the results.

“If you attempt to rig in Ekiti State, there will be crisis. We don’t know if there will be Nigeria after that. Our security agencies and INEC should not be deceived into rigging elections”, he warned.

Governor Nyesom Wike in his speech advised PDP candidates to campaign and win election in their respective Local Government Areas.

Also on Thursday, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) published the names of 40 candidates who emerged from the primary conducted by their parties.

Their names were forwarded to the electoral umpire to beat the May 15 deadline for the receipt of candidates’ names.

The ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) is fielding the incumbent Deputy Governor, Prof. Kolapo Olusola while Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi is running on the platform of the main opposition All Progressives Congress (APC).

Two women are among the candidates jostling for the Ekiti governorship seat. They are: Mrs. Margaret Ilesanmi of Accord (A) and Olajumoke Saheed of Democratic Alternative (DA).

On the list of candidates are: Comrade Shola Omolola of Action Alliance (AA), Mr. Lawrence Ogundipe of Advanced Congress of Democrats (ACD), Dr. Jide Ayenibiowo of Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN), Mr. Olaniyi Agboola of Alliance for Democracy (AD) and Chief Ayodele David Adesua of African Democratic Congress (ADC).

Also on the list are Otunba Segun Adewale of Action Democratic Party (ADP), Mr. Lucas Arubuloye of AGA, Mr. Stephen Oribamise of All Grand Alliance Party (AGAP), Rev. Tunde Afe of Abundant Nigeria Renewal Party (ANRP), Malam Saheed Jimoh of African People’s Alliance (APA), Mr. Tope Adebayo of Advanced People’s Democratic Alliance (APDA) and Evangelist Gbenga Adekunle of All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA).

Others are: Prince Adegboye Ajayi of Better Nigeria People’s Party (BNPP), Mr. Olalekan Olanrewaju of Democratic People’s Congress (DPC), Pastor Stephen Oladejo of Democratic People’s Party (DPP), Mr. Adewale Akinyele of GPN, Mr. Tosin Ajibare of Independent Democrats (ID) and Temitope Amuda of Kowa Party (KP).

The list also includes: former Deputy Governor, Dr. Sikiru Lawal of Labour Party (LP), Mr. Olabode Jegede of Masses Movement of Nigeria (MMN), Mr. Sunday Balogun of Mega Progressive People’s Party (MPPP), Comrade Sunday Ogundana of National Conscience Party (NCP), former Senator, Dr. Bode Olowoporoku of Nigeria Democratic Congress Party (NDCP) and former deputy governor, Chief Adebisi Omoyeni of PANDEF.

Others are: Mr. Ayoyinka Dada of PDC, Mr. Goke Animasaun of Progressives People’s Alliance (PPA), Mr. Stephen Obasanmi of Providence People’s Congress (PPC), Mr. Ebenezer Ogunsakin of People’s Party of Nigeria (PPN) and Mr. Akinloye Ayegbusi of Social Democratic Party (SDP).

Also listed on the ballot are: Dr. Olusegun Adeleye of United Democratic Party (UDP), Mr. Femi Bade-Gboyega of Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN), Mr. Ayodeji Faokorede of Young Democratic Party  (YDP) and Mr. Temitope Omotayo of Young Progressive Party (YPP).

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