A coalition of Civil Society Organisations, Ekiti Democratic Movement (EDM), has advised political gladiators in the state to desist from any act that could truncate the democratic process.
The Convener, Mr Akinola Busuyi, told newsmen in Ado-Ekiti that the call became necessary due to the violence that followed the conduct of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship primaries.
Busuyi said, aside the violence that characterised the gubernatorial primary of the PDP on Wednesday, the APC governorship primary of Thursday also failed to comply with the democratic norms.
“It has been reported that certain people had bought over the Governorship Primary Electoral Committee led by Gov. Abubakar Baderu of Jigawa and also used top government functionaries to hijack the exercise,” he said.
The Secretary to the Committee, Mr Victor Olabimtan, however, described the allegations as not only untrue, but figment of the imagination of the group.
Busuyi also said some aggrieved APC Governorship aspirants alleged that top government functionaries and appointees were used as returning officers for the election in the 16 local government areas and 177 Wards across the state.
The group convener decried the ways and manners the process was characterised with politics of bitterness and acrimony.
He said: “We condemn the violence brigandage, unlawful abduction of perceived opponents and undue harassment of innocent party members.
“Heating up of the political atmosphere in the desperation to get the governorship ticket of the party by the gladiators is condemnable.
“We make bold to say that these activities are critically threatening the sustainability of democracy in Nigeria, to the extent that the gains of the nation’s democracy may be eroded, if proper care is not taken.”
Busuyi, therefore, called on the leadership of both APC and PDP to ensure that the electoral process was peaceful, transparent, fair and devoid of manipulation.
He urged the major dorminant parties to prevail on their supporters to shun any act of violence before, during and after the election in the state.
The convener, however, commended the APC National leadership for the adoption of direct mode of primary for the governorship primary in Ekiti.