Group declares Ekiti council poll free, fair
Amidst the controversies trailing the just concluded Local Government Election in Ekiti State, the Nigerian Human Rights Community (NHRC), said its preliminary reports indicated that the election was free and fair, representing the true aspirations and expression of Ekiti people.
In a statement jointly signed by the Assistant Secretary, Taiwo Adeleye, Diran Obalola and Kudu Abubakar, the group, which commended the State Independent Electoral Commission (SIEC) for the peaceful election, said local government elections are very important in sustainable development since it has a chain value on the standards of living of people in the rural areas.
“Local government elections are critical to the livelihood of indigenous communities. Most civil society organisations concentrate on monitoring general elections while in reality, the local government elections are of critical concern to local people, the local government being the first point of interaction between the government and the people.”
NHRC, which monitored the election in 90 percent of the polling booths representing over 145 wards of the 177 wards, said 160 monitors were deployed apart from 20 other Mobile Observers who drove across the state visiting the polling booths.
“There is a significant improvement in the ability of states to organise local elections. Though the ruling party in the state won almost the overall election, there was a conscious attempt to ensure a free and fair election in the state, the group said.”
It regretted the violent incidence that took a human life at Ikere, saying it was an isolated case caused by a few elements desperate to discredit the peaceful election.The group said indications from the poll showed that left alone, communities can manage their own affairs and chose their elected leaders out of their free, prior and informed consent.”