Ekiti Re-Run – Democracy in Detention

Domestic election observers that monitored the re-run governorship election in Ekiti State have said Saturday’s poll was a clear sign that democracy is still in danger.

In an interim statement issued on the election that took place in 10 local government areas out of 16 in the state, the observers berated the conduct of the country’s political class without exempting any political parties.

The statement was signed by Mashood Erubami {Transition Monitoring Group (TMG)}, Reuben James Esq {Nigerian Bar Association (NBA)}, Umar Farouk {Transparency Movement} and Barrister Olasupo Ojo {Committee for Defense of Human Rights} on behalf of the domestic observers.

The organizations that monitored the re-run elections in Ekiti State included Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Action Aid, Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC),

Justice Development and Peace Commission (JDPC), Committee for Defense of Human Rights (CDHR)jointly with Centre for Rule of Law, Electoral Reform Network(ERN), Women Advocates Research and Documentation Centre(WARDC), New Initiative for Social Development (NISD), Transition Monitoring Group(TMG), Universal Defenders of Democracy(UDD) and Transparency Movement.

“It is also clear that while genuine voters are anxious to imbibe the values of democracy and institutionalize it, some sections of the political class are insistent on snatching the sovereign right of the people as the sole determinants of electoral succession.

“The elections in Ekiti State have further underscored the need for genuine electoral reforms and total re-branding of the political class,” they noted.

They implored the police authorities to release Dr. Abubakar Momoh, Dr. Azeez Olaniyi, Wahab Oyedokun and Bimbo Adewumi, duly accredited observers who were arrested by thugs, brutalized and handed over to the police.

They advised electoral management body to conduct orientations and induction courses for electoral personnel in future elections while accreditation of observers should take place two weeks before election.

They attributed the postponement of elections in two wards of Oye Local Government Area to violence, intimidation, the use of thugs and desperation on the part of the two major political parties.