From: WOLE BALOGUN, Ado Ekiti
The Ekiti State Government, at the weekend, dismissed as ‘reckless and unfounded’, insinuations in some quarters that it planned to manipulate next Saturday’s local government election coming up in the state.
The state government said contrary to such belief, it was favourably disposed to a free, fair and credible poll, describing those that constituted membership of the Ekiti State Independent Electoral Commission, (EKSIEC) as tested men and women of honour and integrity.
It said such an outburst was a product of idleness and frustrations aimed at attracting undue sympathy and cover up for failure.
Secretary to the State Government, (SSG), Dr. Modupe Alade, told newsmen in her Ifaki-Ekiti country home, at a thanksgiving church service for the burial of her father-in-law, Pa Joseph Owoyeye Alade, that those behind the allegations might be those who are jittery of the intimidating profile and popularity of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP) in the state.
The Ekiti State chapter of the Yoruba sociocultural organisation, Afenifere, had recently advised major opposition party in the state, the All Progressive Congress, (APC), to reconsider its earlier decision to participate in the council poll, describing it as a sham.
The organisation had also urged the APC not to waste its resources by attaching “electoral fidelity” to the exercise, saying the party should rather concern itself with the 2018 gubernatorial poll.
But speaking in defence of the state government, Dr. Alade said the present administration led by Governor Ayodele Fayose does not need to manipulate a local government election before winning, having beaten incumbent governors at two different attempts in the past.
According to her, the governor had despite the ragging economic recession in the country, flooded every part of the state capital, including most towns and villages with many monumental projects that had endeared it into the hearts of residents whose interest cut across party divides.
She said despite being the ruling government, Governor Fayose had, on many occasions, personally led the PDP on campaign tour of all the 16 local governments as well as most of the 177 Wards, when those lamenting were busy lying idle
She wondered if a government that believed in manipulation,as being alleged, would be wasting time and energy on such rigorous exercises.
Besides, she said the present governor is also sorrunded with grassroots appointees and elected persons who are well connected to the ordinary people on the street that constituted bulk of the voters.
Alade enjoined the people of the state to ignore rumour mongers by trooping out in large number next Saturday and cast their votes for her party as mark of appreciation for what the present government had done to improve the quality of their lives.
The SSG asked them to also repeat same voting attitude during next year’s July, 2018 gubernatorial election coming up in the state in line with the continuity agenda of the PDP government in the state so that they could continue to enjoy more dividends of democracy.
Earlier in a sermon, the Bishop of Ifaki Diocese of Methodist Church, Nigeria, Rt. Revd. Sunday Aluko admonished Nigerians, especially politicians to live an exemplary life by shunning all negative tendencies capable of compounding the current tempo of rot in the society.
The late Pa Alade, aged 115 years and father of the husband to the SSG, was a veteran teacher and community leader, with the traditional title of chief Edemo of Ifaki Ekiti during his lifetime.