IPAC

By Luminous Jannamike, Abuja

The Inter Party Advisory Council, IPAC, on Wednesday, said the Ekiti governorship elections will serve as a litmus test for the Independent National Electoral Commission as it plans the 2023 elections in the country. 

The Council also said that other factors, such as political thuggery, financial inducement among others, outside the control of INEC, may hinder the smooth running of elections in the state.

It would be recalled that INEC had slated the elections in Ekiti for June 18, 2020 and assured stakeholders of its commitment to strictly following the timetable and schedule of activities released for the governorship poll.

Speaking at a Sensitisation Forum on Peaceful Conduct of 2022 Governorship Election in Ekiti State, IPAC’s National Chairman, Engr. Yabagi Sani, said that although INEC has demonstrated its readiness for the governorship election, the progress or the failure of the Commission would be determined by the sanctity of the actual voting process.

According to him, the Ekiti election would be a litmus test to INEC on the veracity and integrity of its reforms and innovations ahead of the 2023 elections.

Yabagi said, “To us in IPAC, Ekiti 2022 is a litmus test to INEC on the veracity and integrity of the commendable administrative reforms and technological innovations introduced recently by the Commission with the lofty goals of delivering credible and transparently free and fair elections. 

“There is no gainsaying the fact that, INEC cannot afford and must not, fail in the attainment of the noble goals. 

“Very pertinently, officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, must give hope to the people of Ekiti, the rest of the nation and the world at large, that, the era of daylight robbery of the people’s right to choose their representatives is over in Nigeria.”

He urged political party leaders and candidates in the election to resist the temptation to resort to the deployment of thugs as well as material and financial inducement of security agents and INEC officials to compromise any stage in the voting process. 

“We are also very strident in appealing to the security agencies and their operatives engaged to provide security during the election to embark on their assignment with maximum professional and ethical standards.

“All hands must be on deck to ensure that the 18th of June, 2022 governorship election in Ekiti state is carried out in an atmosphere of peace and tranquility without the ugly incidents of all forms of violence that include, molestation, intimidation and harassment of people of opposition political parties, voters or, electoral officials.”

He urged the people of Ekiti state to resist all attempts to deceive, intimidate or induce them into compromising their right to freely elect the political leaders of their choice. 

“In other words, for whatever reasons, the electorate in the 18th June 2022 governorship election must be guided by their conscience, their obligations to the advancement of their welfare, their security, the happiness and prosperity of the future generations,” he explained. 

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