Wole Balogun, Ado-Ekiti
Ekiti State will conduct its local government elections on December 7, 2019, the Chairman of the Ekiti State Independent Electoral Commission (EKSIEC), Justice Jide Aladejana, has disclosed.
The tenure of the 177 councillors and 16 local government chairmen and other appointed officials will lapse on December 19, having assumed office on December 19, 2017.
Speaking with reporters in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital, on Wednesday, Aladejana assured that the polls would be transparent and devoid of rigging, appealing to the opposition not to boycott the elections as is the usual practice.
The SIEC boss disclosed that the body will use voter registers of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and its guidelines for the conduct of the elections, saying that voting would be done manually.
He added that the Commission would collaborate with security agencies and that they had been given assurances that there won’t be intimidation, rigging and suppression of the opposition on election day.
“We are assuring our people that your votes will count, so all parties must sponsor candidates for the elections.
“Don’t have this wrong perception that the local government elections will automatically be rigged in favour of the ruling party,” he said.
Aladejana said the local government Chairmanship form will cost N50,000, while that for councillorship will be sold to candidates for N20,000.
On campaigning, Aladejana said: “Electioneering can start on Saturday, September 14 and it has to be devoid of thuggery and hate speech. Let there be constructive engagements and we will monitor the parties in this regard.
“It is expected that all the parties will conduct their primaries for councillorship elections on 21st of September and that of chairmanship will be done on September 28.
“We will give the parties a level playing ground. We will be transparent in all our dealings and conduct adequate public participation.
“The most important thing to us is that we want parties to sponsor people of proven integrity for these elections, because when you have good people at the third tier of government, they will protect the welfare of the people.
“We are assuring our political parties that these elections are going to be a model in our country,” he said.