Non-sensitive electoral materials for the July 14 governorship election in Ekiti State have been distributed, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) said on Sunday.
INEC said the materials were distributed across the 16 local government areas of the state.
Abdulganiyu Olayinka Raji, Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC0 in Ekiti State, disclosed this during a security meeting with heads of political parties and the candidates contesting in the election.
The meeting, held at the Ekiti State Police Command, Ado Ekiti, was attended by political parties representatives and heads of security chiefs in the state.
Raji said the distribution of the non-sensitive materials was proof of the electoral body’s readiness and preparedness to conduct a free and fair election in Ekiti.
He explained that INEC would be transparent in its dealings with all the political parties, adding that the electoral body would continue to maintain a robust relationship with all the political parties in the state before, during and after the election.
According to Raji, the distribution of the sensitive material will be done 24 hours to the election, and would be transparent in its delivery.
“They have all agreed to remain calm before, during and after the election; we are counting on their words," he said.
“We, on our part, have also promised to remain with our core values, to be transparent and be fair to all. We are fully prepared for the election and all non-sensitive materials have all been distributed to the local government areas; the sensitive material will only come a day before election.
“I have been around the local government areas in the state and we have asked for cooperation to ensure peace reigns during the election. We have equally given them our words to ensure that people’s votes count; and with the structures we have put in place, their votes must count."
Meanwhile, candidates of the various political parties participating in the election have all pledged to abide by the rules and regulations of the election and maintain decorum during the exercise in the interest peace in the state.
Speaking after the meeting, Kayode Fayemi, flag bearer of the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC), said the security agencies guaranteed the political parties a level playing ground and adequate security during the election exercise.
Fayemi, who was represented by the Director of mobilization of his campaign organization, Femi Bamisile, noted that the rampant killings in the state were becoming alarming. He said the candidates of the political parties had agreed with the security agencies on ways to ensure there is peace and tranquility during the election.
“All political parties told them (security agencies) what our problem is and what we have been able to envisage the killings that have been happening within the state," he said.
“We discussed and we assured them that we are going to have hitch-free election in the state without intimidation from anybody. What bothers the mind is why the killings are happening in this period of election."
Also, Kolapo Olusola Eleka, candidate of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), said the meeting had already helped the candidates to agree on how to prevent violence in the course of their campaigns.
Eleka asked the people of the state to summon the courage on the day of election to troop out to exercise their rights.
“All of us the candidates have agreed on certain issues as they relate to how to prevent violence and other things. “They have assured us and we believe that all the stakeholders are prepared for free, fair and transparent poll come July 14," he said.
“The people should be bold enough to go out and perform their civic rights, and nobody will harass anybody because the security agencies have assured us of non-partisanship. No federal might will work here; electorates should go out, cast their votes and leave the rest."
Bello Ahmed, Commissioner of Police in Ekiti State, said the security agencies were fully prepared to ensure a violence-free election, adding that the flash points in the state had been identified and analyzed ahead of the election.