The Ekiti state gubernatorial election is here with us, holding in a few days from today, precisely, on the 18th of June, 2022.
Significantly, the election is also coming barely one month to a similar off season election in neighbouring Osun state and eight months to the general elections in the country. Our experience on the 18th of this month can therefore, be regarded as providing a window into what we shall be witnessing in the conduct of upcoming elections across the country in the days and months ahead.
We are here gathered as stakeholders to heighten the importance of the governorship election in Ekiti state and especially, the significance of a peaceful, orderly, credible, and transparent exercise. By signing a peace accord on this occasion, the key players and actors, that is, the political parties and their candidates, are solemnly and willingly, committing themselves to avoid all manners of actions that can trigger violence or, compromise the credibility and integrity of the exercise.
It is another turn in the history of this demographically small state, but, a state with a remarkable history that stands it out as a giant and a luminous light in the history of the country through the times from independence till date. So many great men and events of phenomenal impacts on the course of Nigeria have their roots in this state. The people of Ekiti are here today, being exulted and, indeed, challenged to demonstrate that the state is truly, the land of men and women of HONOUR and INTEGRITY.
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.
The political party leaders and candidates in the election must resist the temptation, out of desperation, to resort to the deployment of thugs or material and financial inducement of security agents and INEC officials to compromise any stage in the voting process. We are also very stridently 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.
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. To us in IPAC, Ekiti 2022 is a litmus test to INEC on the veracity and integrity of the otherwise, 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.
To the people of Ekiti state, the message from IPAC, is that, they must resist all attempts to deceive, intimidate or induce them into compromising their fundamental, inalienable 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, and the happiness and prosperity of the future generations
Twenty-three years down the line, Nigeria has come a long way and waxing very strongly on the path of democracy. It is the historic responsibility of the generation of the country today, to strive to keep the torch of democracy aloft and burning. As I have severally pointed out at various fora: Humanity has yet to create a better approach to a sustainable and genuine democracy more than the right of citizens to freely elect their leaders through the ballot box. This is because, a compromised, twisted, and corrupted electoral system is tantamount to any other system but democracy. In Ekiti state on the 18th of June, 2022, we should all endeavor to prove to the rest of the world that, Nigeria has come of age as a democracy.
Thank you, God bless Ekiti state and our dear county, Nigeria.
Engr. Yabagi Yusuf Sani,
National Chairman, IPAC.