Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State on Wednesday held a close-door meeting with the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Mahmood Yakubu, together with the national commissioners on this year’s governorship poll in his State and the 2019 general elections.
Governor Fayose, who fielded questions from journalists after the meeting, said he had to visit the INEC’s national office in Abuja to seek some clarifications on the election-related issues in view of the bragging disposition of the opposition figures in his State ahead of the coming elections.
He said, “it is on the issue that has to do with INEC on a few concerns and the bragging of some opposition figures from the party at the centre in respect of general elections in Ekiti in 2018. We heard a lot of things and we feel that it is within our rights to ask INEC questions
“I feel that I should equally come and do an interactive session with INEC to share my ideas. INEC is a public place. It is a public office and any citizen of this country should be able to ask questions and I have come here to ask questions as it affects 2018 elections, July 14 in my state, and as it affects 2019 elections. I expressed my concerns, all that I have heard, all that is making around.”
Fayose, who said that his fears had been allayed, expressed satisfaction with the kind of reception and responses he got from the INEC top officials, describing the feedback as “quite educative and re-assuring”.
“You don’t want to sit down there and assume anything, I am a man of actions, I am very pro-active and I will not take the chance. I have asked a number of questions and they’ve answered me. And they’ve gone through the whole process, what to expect from INEC, and they promised not to descend to the arena.
“For me, I listened to them as it affects Ekiti election. What they’ve said so far is re-assuring. If I have questions again, I will come here. And if I come here and they don’t want to see me, I will tell the public they don’t want to see me. But today, even without notice, I was well received and they were patient, transparently patient to explain one after the other all the concerns,” he also said.
On the PDP’s position that it had lost confidence on the INEC because of the issue of alleged underage voting in parts of the country, Fayose said should not be blamed for protesting since it is the duty of the electoral body to equally allay the fears.
“It is a shame for you to see people bringing children of four years, five years, coming to register. For our nation, it is a shame. For the level of our democracy today, in 21st century, it is a shame.
“But the INEC said they will look into it. I want to give them the benefits of doubt so that they can look into it and address the Nigerian nation because the bulk stops on the Prof. Mahmood Yakubu’s table. The bulk stops at his table and I am sure he would not want to compromise anything for his name. That’s my view,” the governor said.