The Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) and the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) have reiterated the need for the Independent National Electoral Commission to conduct a free, fair and credible election in Saturday’s governorship election in Ekiti State for sustainable peace and unity among Ekiti people.
They also appealed to President Goodluck Jonathan to allow Ekiti Governorship election to be credible and devoid of fraud.
The bodies, which addressed journalists under the auspices of the NUJ/NBA Peace Initiative (NNPI), had initially set up the initiative to canvass issue-based campaigns among the contending forces, which include: Governor Kayode Fayemi of the All Progressives Congress, Mr Ayodele Fayose of the Peoples Democratic Party and Hon Opeyemi Bamidele of the Labour Party among others.
The NBA Chairman, Barr Joseph Adewumi, who co-addressed the newsmen on behalf of the initiative with his NUJ counterpart, Mr Laolu Omosilade, described as suspicious, the barring of some serving Governors of the APC from attending the rally organized by APC to drum support Governor Fayemi in Ado Ekiti on Thursday.
The Governor of Edo State, Com Adams Oshiomhole, his counterpart from Kano, Governor Rabiu Kwakwanso, Rivers, Hon Rotimi Amaechi, Sokoto, Aliyu Wamako, were on Thursday prevented from entering the state by security agents .
Adewumi said the FG must not erode the right of individuals to right of association as enshrined in the 1999 constitution, said “we don’t want credibility problem for Ekiti election. We want it to be
acceptable so that whoever wins can enjoy legitimacy”.
NNPI said it was wrong for the security agencies to have prevented only politicians of the APC leaning from entering the state, when those from the PDP were allowed under the same circumstances.
The initiative said what is happening in the country today pointed to the fact that the nation is fast sliding into anarchy and dictatorship with the way things are going .
“If the security were deployed to maintain peace that would be a commendable efforts by the Federal Government. But a situation whereby the voters are being scared away from voting could give unscrupulous politicians the opportunity to rig the election.”
The NUJ Chairman, who lent his voice, said the people of the state must be allowed to exercise their franchise in Saturday’s election without molestation.
“I know that what is sauce for the goose should be sauce for the gander. Some Federal Government officials visited the state to support their PDP governorship candidate. So, I see no reason why those governors should be prevented. There should be fairness.”