Ob­servers rate Ek­iti coun­cil poll high, se­na­tor tasks win­ners

The Punch - - POLITICS TODAY - Abio­dun Nejo, Ado Ek­iti

The Coali­tion of Civil So­ci­ety Do­mes­tic Elec­tion Ob­server Groups on Mon­day hailed Satur­day’s lo­cal gov­ern­ment elec­tion in Ek­iti State, say­ing it met global stan­dards and com­plied with best prac­tices.

The coali­tion’s team leader, Muham­mad hashidu, lauded the State In­de­pen­dent Elec­toral Com­mis­sion, Ek­iti State Gov­ern­ment, the po­lice and other se­cu­rity agen­cies and as well the peo­ple of the state for their ef­forts in mak­ing the elec­tion suc­cess­ful, free, fair and trans­par­ent.

hashidu, who ad­dressed jour­nal­ists in Ado Ek­iti, the state cap­i­tal, on the coali­tion’s ob­ser­va­tions, said,

“We hereby state that the elec­tion con­ducted was free, fair, cred­i­ble and vi­o­lence­free, which made it meet in­ter­na­tional stan­dards and best prac­tices.”

The rul­ing All Pro­gres­sives Congress in the state won all the avail­able 16 chair­man­ship and 177 coun­cil­lor­ship seats dur­ing the elec­tion.

The team leader said the fact that ma­te­ri­als promptly ar­rived at the 2,195 polling units with vot­ing and col­la­tion freely done in a man­ner bereft of ha­rass­ment and in­tim­i­da­tion at­tested to the cred­i­bil­ity of the poll.

The coali­tion how­ever called for more voter ed­u­ca­tion to en­hance peo­ple’s par­tic­i­pa­tion in the elec­toral process.

The Na­tional Co­or­di­na­tor of Net­work of Civil So­ci­ety Or­gan­i­sa­tions in Nige­ria, Vic­tor Kalu, said the neu­tral­ity main­tained by gov­ern­ment and se­cu­rity agen­cies re­in­forced the ac­cept­abil­ity of the poll.

“As much as gov­ern­ment’s neu­tral­ity in the ex­er­cise was ev­i­dent, we must not fail to indi­cate that the gov­ern­ment of Ek­iti State, to the ex­tent of their of­fi­cial re­spon­si­bil­ity, did what­ever was in their line of duty to en­sure an ef­fec­tive and peace­ful elec­tion,” Kalu said.

In an­other de­vel­op­ment, the Chair­man, Se­nate Com­mit­tee on Ju­di­ciary, Opeyemi Bamidele, has tasked the newly-elected coun­cil of­fi­cials to pri­ori­tise de­vel­op­ment of their coun­cils and re­frain from cor­rupt ten­den­cies that could dash the peo­ple’s hope.

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