From Priscilla Ediare, Ado-Ekiti
Chairman of National Peace Commission (NPC) and former Head of State, Gen. Abdulsalam Abubakar, has appealed to the people of Ekiti State to uphold the ideals of democracy and ensure that Saturday’s election is free, fair and credible.
He also called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to ensure that voters are not disenfranchised even as he tasked the electorate to be patient and be of good conduct during the poll.
Abubakar stated this, yesterday, in Ado-Ekiti at the signing of the peace accord by candidates contesting the Ekiti State governorship poll.
Eleven governorship candidates signed the peace accord, while five candidates didn’t partake in the deal.
Abubakar, represented by Bishop Matthew Kukah, who is also the convener, National Peace Committee, called on voters to take advantage of the off season election to vote and elect the governor of their choice.
“We are now witnessing a joyful surge of excitement across the country over the issue of voter registration. Nigerians are now using various platforms from faith-based association, civil society groups, ethnic and community platforms to assist other federal and state agencies to encourage voter registration among our people. Since the 2015 elections, when the NPC came into being, we at the NPC over the years have gradually been woven into the beautiful fabric of the good work of the INEC. The collaboration has given birth to the various successful amendments to the electoral law which has also helped to strengthen the confidence of Nigerians in their electoral processes,” he said.
INEC chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu commended the intervention of NPC, saying the group has contributed in no small measure in ensuring peace during the conduct of elections in the country.
Yakubu who pledged to conduct a transparent and credible election for Ekiti people, however, called on the people to eschew violence saying no credible election could be achieved in a chaotic atmosphere.
Chairman, Ekiti State Council of traditional rulers, Oba Ayodele Adejuwon, the Onisan of Isan-Ekiti, said traditional rulers in the state would not tolerate any bloodshed during the poll, calling on Ekiti people to vote without violence.
Present at the event were candidates of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Social Democratic Party (SDP), Action Democratic Congress (ADC), New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) Action People’s Party (APP), Action Democratic Party (ADP), African Action Congress (AAC), National Rescue Movement (NRM), People’s Redemption Party ( PRP), Zenith Labour Party ( ZLP), and All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA),
However, candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP),Young Progressives Party, (YPP) Labour Party (LP), Accord Party ( AP), and Allied Peoples Movement (APM) were absent.