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Ekiti traditional rulers meet INEC, police, others over governorship poll

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PDP Accuses FG Of Shortchanging Ekiti On Paris Club Refunds
The Council of Traditional Rulers in Ekiti State, yesterday, met with the Resident Electoral Commissioner, Professor Abdulganiyu Raji, the Commissioner of Police, Ahmed Bello and the candidates of various political parties participating in the July 14 governorship election over fears of violence and alleged plan to manipulate the poll.The meeting, which was divided into two sessions, took place at the palace of Ewi of Ado Ekiti, Oba Adeyemo Adejugbe.

Meanwhile, Ekiti State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has accused the All Progressives Congress-led Federal Government of deliberately allegedly shortchanging the state government in the refunds due to the state from the Paris Club at the instance of its governorship candidate in the state, Dr. Kayode Fayemi.This, according to the party, is meant to hinder the state government from meeting its obligations and portray it in bad light in the public.

At the stakeholders meeting with Raji and the Police commissioner, the royal fathers led by the Chairman and Oloye of Oye Ekiti, Oba Oluwole Ademolaju expressed concern about the allegations that the electoral umpire might not be neutral in the coming governorship poll.Specifically, Ademolaju demanded explanation on why it wanted to use students of tertiary institutions as adhoc staff, instead of the youth corps members that it has traditionally used for such elections.

The traditional rulers said that information at their disposal showed that there is 299 flashpoints already isolated as potentially explosives voting centres, adding, “Our people must be assured of their safety. All uncollected permanent voters cards must be destroyed a week before the election, to guarantee that it will not get into wrong hands.“We urge you to appoint unbiased corps members. Security agencies must ensure fairness and should not embark on indiscriminate arrests before or during election. Ekiti election is the yardstick to show the world that we are making progress in our democratic journey.

“We don’t want bloodshed in Ekiti that is why we are taking proactive steps so that we don’t lament at the end of the day. We the royal fathers don’t have anywhere to go if there are breakdown of law and order.”The monarchs also invoked the wrath of gods on any politician that cause violence before, during and after the poll. Oba Ademolaju said, “We don’t want war and if we say there should be no war, then there should be no cheating. Don’t put Ekiti into trouble; go and campaign and tell people what you want to do. Some people are fond of removing other people posters and billboards, anybody who causes evil, evil will return to the person in the name of our ancestors.”

The Resident Electoral Commissioner, however, assured the monarch of INEC’s neutrality in the coming election. He said that some improvement have been made to ensure free, fair and transparent election.On the issue of using students, the REC said that it was not new, noting that the available Corp members in Ekiti wont be enough for INEC.On his part, the police commissioner, who was represented by Deputy Commissioner of Police, Ede Yakubu, informed the traditional rulers of the level of preparedness of the police force to maintain peace before, during and after the election.
He also assured the people of the state that the police is collaborating with other sister security agencies to maintain law and order. He also pledged police neutrality at the poll.

Meanwhile, in a statement by the State Publicity Secretary of PDP, Mr. Jackson Adebayo, in Ado-Ekiti yesterday, the party alleged that, going by documents from the Nigerian Governors’ Forum, the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Federal Ministry of Finance, Ekiti State was due to get $69 million as the remaining part of the refunds, but that had been reduced to $49 million.

“We have it on good authority that the $20 million removed would be part of the funds to be used by the APC and Fayemi for the coming July 14 governorship election in the state. One wonders why the discrepancy in the figures. The consultant employed by the NGF came out with the initial figure and for no reason, the new figure we are hearing is been touted as the dues of the state,” he said.


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