By Bolaji Buhari
Lagos – Amidst anxiety, the Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC) has reiterated its optimism that Saturday’s governorship election in Ekiti will be hitch free and peaceful.
In an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday from his base in Ado-Ekiti, the chairman of the Ekiti State chapter of the council, Mr Omotayo Ilesanmi, said the election would be free of violence.
He said this is in spite of anxiety ahead of the polls, dismissing reports of tension in the state as false.
According to him, the atmosphere in all parts of the state has been peaceful, with politicians and their supporters conducting their activities without violence.
“I hear people talk about tension in Ekiti because of Saturday’s election, and I want to say that is mere rumour.
“There is no problem in Ekiti, everybody is going about his or her business even with the peaking of political activities.
“What we have witnessed is the political parties and the candidates are showing strength with their crowds of supporters, and that is clearly politics, not tension.
“From feelers and findings here and there, Ekiti is ready for the election. We are optimistic it will be peaceful, free and fair,” he said.
Ilesanmi said IPAC had continuously engaged political parties and candidates on the election and got the commitment of all to peace.
He disclosed that the council also had assurances from the Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC) that it would conduct the election without let or hindrance.
“The main focus now should be voters’ education, so that the electorate can participate in the process and make their democratic choice.
“At the IPAC, we have been sensitising the people on the need to partake in the election and vote right,” he said.
Also speaking, the chairman of IPAC in Lagos, Mr Kola Ajayi, urged politicians and their supporters to shun violence before, during and after the election.
He told NAN that it was when the poll was peaceful that Ekiti people could claim to have freely exercised their democratic will.
Ajayi urged the security agencies to provide adequate security during the election to ensure it was peaceful.
“People should conduct themselves peacefully and shun do-or-die politics.
“We contest elections to govern people, not those who are dead. Therefore, I urge people of Ekiti to keep the peace on Saturday,” he said.