Allow Free And Fair Election In Ekiti – AU
Ahead of the July 14 governorship elections in Ekiti State, residents of the state have been advised by the African Union Economic, Social and Cultural Council to shun bribery in electing their governor.
The body noted that the election will be a guideline for Nigerians in forth coming 2019 general elections. It also urged all the the parties involved to conduct free, fair and credible primaries that would be in tandem with international best practices.
“Election is a process, no bad process can produce a good election, so all parties must conduct acceptable primaries,” it said.
At a press conference in Ado Ekiti on Monday, the Nigeria representative/chairperson in charge of social affairs and health in AU-ECOSSOC, Dr. Tunji Asaolu, said Nigeria needed free and fair elections to stabilize and progress.
He said the union would begin aggressive sensitisation of the electorate in Ekiti to the ills inherent in the vote-for- cash syndrome, describing it as the worst thing to ever happen to any society.
“If you sell your conscience on the day of election or at the primaries, your rights as a citizen cease to exist from that point.
“You can no longer request good roads that you deserve or ask for qualitative education for your children as a right and other things you are entitled to as a citizen. That is why it is important for you to vote freely for whoever you think will represent the people well,” he said.
Asaolu advised that Nigeria should build on the gains garnered in the 2015 elections, which according to him, international observers said was substantially credible.
“Nigeria’s prestige this time is on the line, the civilised world will not accept anything short of free and fair election neither would Ekiti State citizens accept irregularities or business as usual.
“Everything is going right at the moment for Nigeria. The economy is getting stronger, Nigeria is regaining her confidence after being away from the diplomatic circle and finally playing a significant role of the giant of Africa.
“For Nigeria to arrive and take her distinguished seat among the comity of nations, she must first and foremost get the election right this time,” he advised.
For Ekiti poll to be largely credible, Asaolu recommended free and credible primaries where delegates must be allowed to choose their preferred candidates.