By Ndubuisi Michaels with report from Ado-Ekiti
The United States of America on Thursday assured the people of Ekiti State that it would bring the world to monitor the July 14 governorship election in the state.
The Consul-General of the U.S. Embassy in Nigeria, Mr. John Bray, gave the assurance during a meeting with the Ekiti State Council of Traditional Rulers held at the Palace of Ewi of Ado-Ekiti, Oba Rufus Adejugbe.
The envoy’s pledge was sequel to the requests by the traditional rulers for a free, fair and credible election in a peaceful atmosphere.
Responding, Bray promised that the U.S. was committed to peace before, during and after the election.
He said: “We are on the side of the people. We are here to support free, fair, credible and peaceful election.
“The eyes of the world will be on Ekiti on July 14. We would be here and we won’t let you down.”
The Chairman of the council and Oloye of Oye-Ekiti, Oba Oluwole Ademolaju, had asked the US to prevent vote-buying during the July 14 governorship poll in the state.
He urged the country to bring observers from all over the world to ensure each vote counted in the election.
Stating that the people of the state would resist manipulation in whatever form, the monarchs said the governorship poll would be a pointer to what is to come in the 2019 general elections.
His words: “We want you to use your good office to bring monitors all over polling units.
“Security agencies must be above board during and after the elections.
“We want everybody to be carried along. We want reputable groups as monitors present at polling units not people that will just be moving about.”
Also speaking, Oba Adejugbe said the people would be happy if the most popular candidate won the election.
“We want peace and vote to count. If the most popular candidate won at the end of the day, nobody would raise a voice.”
The Ogoga of Ikere-Ekiti, Oba Adejimi Alagbado, warned against the experience of 1983 election violence where many houses were burnt in the old Ondo State.
“We are concerned about safety in our domain, we don’t want Ekiti to be a battle ground. We want the choice of the people to emerge as governor in the election.”