Wole Balogun, Ado-Ekiti
Candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Dr. Kayode Fayemi, Special Assistant to Governor Ayo Fayose on new media and communication, Lere Olayinka and Public Relations Officer of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Taiwo Gbadegesin, traded words over allegations of rigging July 14 poll made by Fayemi.
While Fayemi’s campaign team has accused some top officials of INEC of conniving with Governor Fayose to rig the coming election, Olayinka and Gbadegesin denied the allegation stating that it is unfounded and baseless.
Fayemi alleged that three top INEC officials from Abuja held a secret meeting with Governor Fayose in the Government House some days back under the guise of being in the state for official duty.
INEC Public Relations Officer in Ekiti, Taiwo Gbadegesin denied the allegation, stating that the electoral body didn’t receive any official from Abuja, saying none of their officers visited the governor on any scheduled or emergency invitation.
Gbadegesin assured voters that INEC would conduct credible election in Ekiti as technology has been put in place to make rigging difficult and unachievable.
He said: “We have it on good authority that a former INEC official, has been living with the governor in the Government House since January this year. After these illegal activities in the Government House, there was a secret meeting held with three top officials of INEC from the national headquarters in the Government House. Curiously, these three top officials hold strategic positions in election management. One is from the Admin, one is from Stores and Distribution Dept while the other is ICT top official.”
Debunking the allegations, Gbadegesin said: “There is no form called accreditation form in the first place, accreditation will be done with smart card readers and the four staff mentioned are our staff members, but they have not visited Ekiti for any reason. Let me also tell the public that form EC8A is with the CBN and it will be deployed to Ekiti with ballot papers. They are coded with serial numbers and can’t be duplicated by anybody.”
Responding to the allegations, the campaign organisation of the PDP governorship candidate, Prof. Kolapo Olusola, said Fayemi is a desperate politician that is already smelling electoral defeat.
Olayinka said: “Did we prevent Fayemi and his ilk from engaging the services of a consultant? Are we the ones who made them to rely solely on federal might instead of the might of God and the people of Ekiti? If they are now being faced with the reality of a failed believe in federal might, shouldn’t they just accept defeat instead of this childish attempt to create a excuse for their impending electoral failure?”