By Amos Ogunrinde

The Ekiti State Independent Electoral Commission, EKSIEC will tomorrow (Saturday) conduct local government elections into the 16 statutory Councils and 22 Local Council Development Areas, LCDAs.

Thirteen political parties have indicated interest to participate in the exercise.

The election will start by half past eight in the morning and end by two o’clock in the afternoon.

Already, EKSIEC has distributed both the sensitive and non sensitive materials across the Council  Areas in the State in readiness for the exercise.

Briefing newsmen in Ado Ekiti, EKSIEC Chairman, Retired Justice Cornelius Akintayo said the materials were distributed to ensure its early bearrival to the polling units on the day of the election.

He re-assured the people of Ekiti State of the preparedness of SIEC to conduct acceptable Council polls.

Meanwhile, the Ekiti State Police Command says it has deployed adequate personnel across polling units and the identified flash points to ensure the safety of lives and properties as well as election materials during tomorrow’s local government election.

In a statement, the State Commissioner of Police, Mr Dare Ogundare, through bthe command’s spokesperson, Mr Sunday Abutu ordered the restriction of vehicular movements across the State from midnight of Friday 1st December, 2023 to 4pm of Saturday 

He listed categories of those exempted from the restrictions as SIEC Officials, Accredited Electoral Observers, ambulances responding to medical emergencies, firefighters, Media, Candidates/Officials participating in the ongoing National Examination Council, NECO.

He urged all citizens to be law abiding while eligible electorates should come out en masse to exercise their franchise without fear of intimidation or attack.

Mr Ogundare charged the Personnel deployed for the election to be professional and avoid any form of corrupt  practices in the course of their duties.

He warned criminally minded individuals, hoodlums and political thugs to stay away from Ekiti as the command will be decisive and ruthless on those who may want to cause mayhem. 

In a related development, the state governor, Mr Biodun Oyebanji has urged the people to be law abiding and conduct themselves in a peaceful and orderly manner during this Saturday’s Local government election. 

The Governor, in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media, Mr Yinka Oyebode, told the people to see the local government election as an important step in enhancing development and good governance at the grassroots. 

Governor Oyebanji called on voters to consider the overriding interest of Ekiti as well as that of their respective Local Government’ Councils in determining who gets elected. 

 He, however appealed to them to go about the electoral process in an atmosphere devoid of rancour. 

Mr. Oyebanji equally appealed to the candidates in the election as well as the political class to pursue their ambitions and interests peacefully, noting that the peace of Ekiti State is not negotiable.

The Governor called on traditional, religious and community leaders to use their influence to prevent youths from engaging in activities capable of having negative impact on the election. 

According to the Governor, security agencies are at alert to respond to any act of violence or lawlessness during the process, imploring those planning to cause any disruption to reconsider their actions.

He also called on the state electoral commission to ensure transparency and professionalism in the conduct of the election in the overall interest of the state.

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