Ahead of Saturday’s governorship poll in Ekiti State, traditional rulers and elders in all the 16 local government areas of the state have called on the citizens to eschew violence and maintain peace.
The call came against the backdrop of a face-off between the police and the supporters of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state.
While Gov. Ayodele Fayose claimed he, along with party members were tear-gassed and brutalised during the rally, the Police denied the claim, saying they were only trying to prevent an unauthorised rally to avoid a clash of politicians.
On the strength of this, the Chairman of the Council of traditional rulers, Oba Oluwole Ademolaju, the Oloye of Oye Ekiti called on President Muhammadu Buhari to prevail on the police to avoid harassments of the innocent citizens.
At a press conference in Ado-Ekiti, the traditional ruler said that people of Ekiti were law-abiding and demanded that all participants in the election be given a level playing ground before, during and after the election.
“We are not in a state of war. The election is a civic exercise and it should be so.
“We hereby implore the people of Ekiti State to be calm and go about their normal duties without fear of molestation,” the royal father said.
Speaking on behalf of the Ekiti Council of Elders, the Chairman, Prof Joseph Oluwasanmi, appealed to the candidates to embrace peace, even as he urged the people to go out in large numbers to exercise their civic right, without any intimidation and vote the candidate of their choice.
He said citizens must see themselves as Brothers.
“Ekiti state is historically and culturally homogenous and the gladiators in all the political parties must principally have the interest of Ekiti State at heart,” Oluwasanmi said.
While appreciating the Federal Government for providing security for the peaceful conduct of the election, the elder urged the police to perform their duties with decorum to prevent intimidation which may eventually lead to disenfranchisement of voters.
From Adeyinka Aremu, Osogbo