Observers, Fayemi disagree over Ekiti election

Observers, Fayemi disagree over Ekiti election

- A coalition of observers of the July 14 Ekiti governorship election has spoken on the poll

- The observers noted that there was massive vote buying during the election

- Kayode Fayemi, however, said the groups' reports about the election was fabricated and sponsored by outgoing Governor Ayodele Fayose

A coalition of observers of the July 14 Ekiti governorship election said the conduct of the election, which gave victory to the All Progressives Congress candidate, Kayode Fayemi, did not comply with the global best practices and electoral standards.

Premium Times reports that Gabriel Nwambu of the Centre for Credible Leadership and Citizens Awareness on behalf of the observers said there was massive vote buying during the election.

Fayemi has, however, dispelled the claims of the coalition, saying it was the fabrication of the Ekiti state government to discredit the July 14, election that made him the winner.

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A statement by the director of media and publicity of the Fayemi Campaign Council, Wole Olujobi, dismissed the report as a product of fraud masterminded by the Ekiti state government to discredit the election.

The statement read: “We have noted the fraud contained in the so-called observers group report and we condemn the desperation that stokes that sponsored report to diminish the standard of the Saturday election, which a more credible observer group, Transition Monitoring Group (TMG), had earlier hailed as credible poll, applauding INEC, security and voters for conducting themselves in acceptable manner to produce credible election.

“We were privy to the earlier press conference where the observer groups were to give a fair assessment of the entire electoral process, but the process was hijacked by the state government, which locked a motley crowd of supporters in a room in the government House where media houses under retainership of the state government were the only ones present to report the proceedings of the so-called press conference.

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“In the so-called press conference, only two television stations under retainership of Ekiti Government and a reporter of a Lagos-based publication were present.

“The report that purportedly emerged as scripted in the so-called press conference was forwarded to other media houses, which innocently resorted to processing the story for wider broadcast and publication to mislead the Nigerian public as authentic observers group’s report on the election.”

Meanwhile, had reported that a coalition of domestic and international election observers praised INEC for the proper conduct of the Ekiti state election faulted the deployment of 30,000 policemen for the election.

The observers, who comprised of representatives from over 50 domestic organisations, human rights groups and international election observer bodies, based their report on lapses noticed in the conduct of the election, especially the role of security agencies.

The observers include Centre for Credible Leadership and Citizens Awareness, Nigeria; Justice and Equity Organisation, Nigeria; International Republican Institute, United States of America; and Patriotic Women Foundation, Abuja, as well as the other bodies from the African Unions, among others.

The observers stated that the conduct of some of the security operatives and unwholesome practices of vote buying where voters surreptitiously showed which party they voted to party agents who went behind to settle them, largely marred the electoral process.

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