Friday, 20 June 2014

18 parties to contest in Ekiti gov election

The Ekiti State governorship election holds on Saturday with 18 political parties fielding candidates. The major contenders, however, are the incumbent governor and APC candidate, Kayode Fayemi, PDP’s Ayo Fayose and Labour Party’s Opeyemi Bamidele. The News Agency of Nigeria reports that 29 foreign and local observer groups have been accredited for monitoring. The Resident Electoral Commissioner in the state, Alhaji Halilu Pai, confirmed to NAN that more than 603 additional polling units had been created, raising the total number to 2,798. Pai also confirmed that all sensitive materials had been distributed to the 16 local government areas of the state. NAN further reports a heavy security presence in all the nooks and crannies of the state with stern looking personnel drawn from the military, police, NSCDC, NDLEA and Department of State Security. The Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Victor Babayemi, told NAN that more than 12,000 mobile police officers had been deployed in the state in addition to the regular officers as well as 26 sniffer dogs. This figure is in addition to another 15,000 NSCDC personnel deployed in the state as confirmed by the Commandant General of the corps, Dr Ade Abolurin. Also deployed was a surveillance equipped camera vehicle which could cover a large land mass. Babayemi , who announced a restriction in movement on Saturday between 6am and 8pm, said the heavy security presence was in the interest of residents of the state. NAN further reports that no fewer than 732,166 voters were registered to vote in Saturday’s election. A breakdown of the figure made available to NAN by INEC indicated that there are 371,419 female voters, comprising 51 per cent of the voting population. Male voters also totaled 360,747, representing 49 per cent of the total voting population in the election involving 177 wards.

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