Days after winning the Ekiti Governorship Election, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has presented certificates of return to the Governor-elect, Biodun Oyebanji and the Deputy Governor-elect, Christiana Afuye.
The National Commissioner in charge of Ekiti, Oyo and Lagos, Sam Olumekun, presented the certificates to Oyebanji and Afuye on Wednesday at the Commission’s state headquarters in Ado-Ekiti.
Olumekun said that the issuance of the certificates was in line with Section 72 (1) of the Electoral Act, which stipulated that INEC should present certificates to the Governor and Deputy within 14 days of being elected.
He said that the commission had done its best to deliver a credible poll, assuring that it would audit the conduct of the exercise and utilise the lesson to improve on the coming July 16 Osun governorship poll and 2023 general elections.
The INEC official added that the agency was able to surmount all the odds and conduct a transparent election that adhered strictly to best international practices through proper planning and commitment.
In his remark, the Resident Electoral Commissioner, Dr Adeniran Tella, congratulated the governor-elect and his deputy, urging all the stakeholders to cooperate with INEC to further democratise the process, by playing positive roles in the electioneering process.
Speaking after receiving the certificate, Oyebanji commended the INEC and the security agencies for conducting a free, fair and credible election without fear or favour.
He predicated the credibility of the Ekiti poll on the introduction of the Bimodal Voters Authentication System, describing the machine as an ‘indisputable game changer’ in the nation’s electioneering process.
Oyebanji said his victory was not only for himself or his party but for the people of State who stood solidly by him at the poll, promising that he would execute his 6-point agenda zealously to usher new dawn of progress and development in Ekiti.
He said: “Let me thank the INEC for providing a level playing ground for the contenders in this election. I can’t agree with the INEC less that the BVAS was a game-changer in our election.
“Nobody ever believed what happened on Saturday could ever happen. Some people still not believed that the rigging of the election was over but Ekiti election really convinced us.
“Thanks to the security agencies and the people of the state for having trust in APC.
“The people committed such huge trust in us because of the stellar performance of Governor Kayode Fayemi, and it was that I will build on. What happened on Saturday was a referendum and validation that the APC-led government has performed”.