An international civil society organisation, Youth Initiative for Advocacy, Growth and Advancement(YIAGA), Africa, the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ekiti, as well as other stakeholders on Sunday expressed divergent opinions on the outcome of Saturday’s governorship election which produced Dr Kayode Fayemi as winner.
Fayemi of the APC won the election after securing 197,459 votes, beating the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Prof. Kolapo Olusola, who got 178,121.
YIAGA said in Ado-Ekiti at a press conference that accreditation, voting and counting generally complied with extant regulations, although it highlighted concerns about “ secrecy of the ballot box , vote buying and bribery.’’
The Executive Director of the organisation, Mr Samson Itodo, however, commended INEC on the timely opening of the poll with essential materials present as well as prompt announcement of results.
He also urged Fayemi and APC supporters to be magnanimous in victory
“ For those candidates who did not win, we urge them to accept the results because they reflect the votes cast.
“ YIAGA Africa calls upon all the candidates, all parties and all Nigerians to show political maturity and to maintain the peace,’’ he said.
The APC in the state also described the party’s victory as “ well-won and much deserved.’’
In a statement issued in Ado-Ekiti, the Chairman of the party, Chief Jide Awe, thanked electorate for the massive turnout and “ voting conscientiously for the party.’’
The chairman also thanked President Muhammadu Buhari and other party leaders for their support in winning the governorship election.
He, however, called for calm and appealed to the opposition parties and their candidates to accept defeat in good faith.
“ The APC thanks the Ekiti electorate for voting for the party in the keenly-contested election.
“ The Ekiti electorate have voted for the candidate of their choice who they consider as having a proven track record of performance and integrity, and who will bring about the kind of turnaround the state needs at this crucial period,’’ he said.
He gave an assurance that the governor-elect would be magnanimous in victory and deliver on the expectations of the people.
Mrs Bolanle Olatunde, a former Special Assistant on Diaspora to former Gov. Segun Oni congratulated the governor-elect and urged him to put the welfare of the people at the heart of his programmes.
She also said Nigerians must learn lessons from the outcome of the elections, especially on the need for “ anyone saddled with the position of authority to do the right thing at the right time.’’
“Even though, there might be claims of inducement here and there, some things I have learnt especially in Ekiti is that as incumbent, you should do the right thing in terms of discharging your duties.
” While people still talk about stomach infrastructure and all that, this can only be sustained if your performance as governor is good and you don’t waste public funds on irrelevant projects.
“Most importantly, be humble, because when you are humble, you will be promoted. In these areas, rural people see and appreciate their governor interacting with the common man, but at the same time these people still go to the same market your wife goes to.
” You should set up SMEs, community development initiatives and sustainable development projects that will bring true governance to the people,’’ she said.
The police in the state also said the election was successfully concluded without reports of violence.
The spokesman of the police in the state, Ikechukwu Caleb, told NAN that the election was peaceful and orderly, adding that no arrest was made during the exercise.
NAN reports that the police had deployed 30,000 operatives, two helicopters and 250 patrol vehicles, including Armoured Personnel Carriers, for the election.
The security operation for the poll was supervised by the Deputy Inspector-General of Police, Operations, Joshiak Habila, assisted by an Assistant Inspector-General of Police, four Commissioners of Police, eight Deputy Commissioners of Police and 18 Assistant Commissioners of Police.
Mr Maxwell Adeleye, a PDP youth leader in Ilogbo-Ekiti in Ido/Osi Local Government Area of Ekiti, however, described the conduct of the election as “ a show of shame and mockery of all tenets of democracy.’’
He advised the PDP candidate in the election to brace up for the challenges ahead, saying “ the victory of the APC was without jubilation on the streets.’’
Adeleye , however, congratulated the governor-elect on his victory and wished him well in the governance of the state.