National Leader, All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Bola Tinubu has cautioned aspirants, political parties and their followers, stakeholders and all actors in Saturday’s governorship election in Ekiti state against violence, intimidation and other acts that could jeopardise the successful conduct of the election.
Especially, he called on all gubernatorial candidates to lead the call on their followers to eschew violence and disorder, while declaring their intolerance for misbehaviour and affirming their respect for the final results as being the democratic will of the people.
Noting growing anxiety as echoed by some traditional rulers and leaders in Ekiti about the election, Tinubu harped on the importance of all actors being committed to a peaceful and transparent poll so as to uphold the nation’s democracy.
Contained in a statement he personally signed, Tinubu urged political leaders and other leaders of thought to speak to their subjects and followers on the need to be peaceful, orderly and respectful of other party adherents at the polls.
Furthermore, he warned followers of various parties against wrongful thinking, urging them to think aright and only commit themselves to a free, fair and transparent election.
According to Tinubu, it was incumbent on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to be transparent, fair and objective all through the polls down till the announcement of the results.
The statement read, in parts, “For the utmost benefit of the people of Ekiti, this election must be a peaceful event, free and fair and devoid of any hint of violence or intimidation”.
The anxiety expressed in some quarters and even by some concerned traditional rulers and leaders in Ekiti about the imminent poll has come to my attention.
I particularly note the call for a peaceful and transparent poll by the consultative body of eminent elders and leaders in Ekiti, Igbimo Ure Ekiti (IUE).
“Given the high respect we all must have for the place and the wise counsel of our traditional rulers and other notable leaders, it would be remiss of us to ignore their words.
Thus, those of us who have influence within any of the contending political parties or within the society, in general, must also lend their voice to the call for peace and calm.
Let the will of the people prevail. In a democratic setting, there can be no greater justice or victory than this. I urge the electorate in Ekiti to exercise their civic responsibility by voting without fear or trepidation.
Be vigilant but orderly and respectful of all others even the partisans of the other parties.
“We must allow the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) discharge its responsibility fairly and objectively with nothing to hide and with transparency in all its doings. Above all, this is the time for the candidates to show their true love of the people.
“These candidates say they want to lead the people to a better place. Well, let them begin now by leading their followers away from any hint of violence or mischief. Let the candidates clearly and publicly declare that they condone no misbehaviour and that they will respect the free and democratic will of the people come what may.
This is the essence of leadership-putting the welfare of the people above your own-. Let he who wishes to be the next governor begin now by eschewing violence and disorder.
“In the end, an election is a contest of competing personalities and ideas regarding the progress of the state, not the destruction of it. Thus, the election is not a conflict of arms or a call for war. It is a matter determining, among the candidates, whose ideas are best for the state. This cannot be done by wrongful fighting.
“All the parties must subscribe to democratic ethos. Ekiti must honour its reputation as the abode of robust intellectuals and respected technocrats and private sector players.
We must commend those wise and honourable voices that counsel peace among brothers for this election, for after all is over, we must still occupy the same space and call each other brother and sister as we did before the election