Observers under the aegis of the Nigerian Human Rights Community, (NHRC) have insisted that the All Progressive Congress, (APC) gubernatorial candidate, Dr Kayode Fayemi won the Ekiti State gubernatorial election free and fair.
At a press conference in Lagos on Friday addressed by the observers led by Taiwo Adeleye, where the group presented preliminary reports, the group said the election was associated with hitches but not enough to invalidate the victory of APC at the poll. The NHRC was established in 2003 as a coalition of many community-based groups across the country. The media event was attended by several observers of the Ekiti election.
The NHRC regrets the status of human rights work is being distorted by the Ekiti State Governor, Mr Ayodele Fayose who it accused of raising a coterie of false and emergency human right groups and observers with preconceived aim of supporting Dr Olusola Kolapo Eleka, the Peoples’ Democratic Party, (PDP) candidate.
The group said there were obvious cases of political parties’ involvement on corruption but that it is mischievous to blame the outcome of the election on that note.
It said that in Ekiti State, the ring leader of electoral manipulation is Mr Ayodele Fayose. “Since 2014, Mr Fayose has been distributing cash-public funds-to individuals on the streets amongst who are voters. It has become a day-to-day function of the Ekiti state Governor and its officials to distribute cash to people on the streets. There is nothing behind this than a conscious attempt to buy votes. Most of these cases were reported in the mainstream and social media where Mr Fayose was openly distributing cash to people on the streets.”
The group added “in Ekiti, workers were paid 3000 naira on the eve of the election as bribe so that they could vote for Dr Elenka. This is a well-known fact. He also paid 7,-000 naira each to pensioner on the eve of the July 14 election. The cash paid was not listed as part of their legal entitlements but as inducements to ensure they voted for the PDP. There can be no clearer evidence of election malpractices that this. Under the Ekiti State Governor, manipulation of elections through cash inducement is a directive principle of the state which has been entrenched in the state’s convention through the framework of stomach infrastructure.”
The group said “We monitored the election. Many of us here were in Ekiti as monitors. We were in Ekiti two weeks before the election, gathering information and monitoring pre-election activities. It was easy for many of us to predict the outcome of the election even before INEC released the results on Sunday morning. We have gathered here to set the records straight and to present the issues the way they are in the most factual manner.”