The Igbimo Ure Ekiti , a consultative body of eminent elders and leaders of Ekiti State from within and outside Nigeria , have called on President Muhammadu Buhari to keep the military away from the July 14 governorship election in Ekiti State .
This was just as the elders condemned the desperation of the two leading political parties – the Peoples Democratic Party and the All Progressives Congress – to win the election at all costs.
The IUE , which addressed a press conference in Lagos on Sunday , expressed concern about the atmosphere of tension being created in the Ekiti State ahead of the election , particularly as a result of shootings and use of hate speeches.
In the text of the press conference jointly signed by its National President , Prince Julius Adelusi – Adeluyi , and General Secretary , Sir Remi Omotoso , the IUE said election not being a war ; President Buhari should ensure that the military was not involved .
The elders said , “ With the palpable fear of the people within the state that the army may be used for this election, we call on Mr President and the Commander – in – Chief of the Armed Forces, President Muhammed Buhari, to ensure that men and women of the Nigerian Armed Forces are not involved in an electoral process that is totally , essentially and constitutionally a civil matter .
“ Election is not a war . The earlier we began to instil confidence in the ability and the capacity of the Nigeria Police Force together with other civil security agencies for the prevention and detection of crime , apprehension of offenders , protection of lives and properties , preservation of law and order and due enforcement of our laws and regulation including our electoral laws , regulations and guidelines , the better for our democracy. ”
Recalling that the governorship election and the re – run that followed between 2007 and 2010 were characterised by killing , destruction of valuable assets and trepidation among Ekiti State residents , the Ekiti elders appealed to the political gladiators not to allow history to repeat itself.
“ No one will forget in a hurry , the Ido Osi tragedy , the Oye skirmishes , and the inconsistencies of Madam Ayoka Adebayo , the then Ekiti State Electoral Commissioner , ” the IUE said .
“ As a people , we must learn from history . The failure to learn from history is the reason for repeating same mistakes . We wish to recall with pain and anguish the electoral crisis of 1983 in the old Ondo State (comprising of the present Ondo State and Ekiti State ) which occasioned loss of several lives and destruction of properties , ” the elders added.
Apart from Adelusi – Adeluyi and Omotosho , others present at the press conference were a Senior Advocate of Nigeria , Chief Wole Olanipekun , historian , Prof. Banji Akintoye and a former Managing Director, UAC , Dr . Ayo Ajayi.