Stakeholders in the just concluded Presidential and National Assembly elections in Ekiti have commended the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and security agencies for the peaceful conduct of Saturday polls in the state.
They described the elections across the state as peaceful, free, fair and credible, saying that the one week earlier postponement has been justified.
The traditional ruler of Ire-Ekiti in Oye Local Government Area of Ekiti, Oba Victor Bobade, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in his palace at Ire-Ekiti, that the exercise went smoothly in his domain with everything organised in peaceful manner.
Oba Bobade said that Nigerians should appreciate INEC for making adequate arrangements for the exercise, “which however justifies the one week postponement by the electoral body.
“Although, people were not sure that the election will hold, expecting another postponement, but INEC made good his promises that they were ready for the elections to conduct a free, fair and credible poll’’.
The monarch, who described the election as peaceful and highly commendable, said: “After I voted, I addressed the voters to ensure that they maintain peace during and after the conduct of the polls.
“I thereafter moved round to monitor the exercise in my domain, where I stop to address the voters, the impressive turn out of voters was an indication that the exercise had yielded fruitful results.
“Everybody was expecting a kind of apathy from the voters due to the earlier postponement by INEC and we had to intensify our sensitisation based on this.
“We went on radio and also used town criers to call on the electorate to come out to exercise their voting right and am happy they yielded to our calls.’’
The Anaun of Iluomoba-Ekiti in Gbonyin Local Government Area of the state, Regent Bolanle Koleoso on her part, commended INEC for not disappointing Nigerians again and for conducting a free, fair and credible poll.
“Am sure they have learnt a lot of lessons with the postponement and responses from Nigerians and was able to quickly go back to the drawing board and put their house in order, which resulted in what we witnessed yesterday during the elections.
“INEC ad hoc staff arrived the polling units very early, the card readers did fine except for few cases of malfunctioning and which were rectified immediately.
“So far, so good on the part of INEC joined with the adequate security arrangement made for the election, they have made Nigerians to understand that they are able and capable of organising a free and fair election, which many Nigerians from what we read in the papers and see on the television stations can attest to,’’ she said.
The regent commended the high turnout of voters and the adequate security arrangement for the exercise and praised INEC for ensuring adequate materials and personnel for the exercise.
“But with what we have observed so far, we are happy and commend INEC for adequate arrangement, the security agencies and particularly the electorate for their patriotism,’’ she said.
Mr Oso Farotimi, the Ekiti Chairman of National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), commended the electorate, especially his members for exhibiting high sense of patriotism and maturity in exercising their franchise.
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“INEC has also put up a lot of improvement as against past exercises and it will be to our benefit if they can maintain the tempo.
“I want to especially thank our members for living up to the expectations of Nigerians and not betray the confidence reposed in them.
“Before, people usually see us as tools in the hands of the politicians, but we have been able to change that notion and see us more as responsible partners in the development and progress of Nigeria,” he said. (NAN)