The African Union Economic, Social and Cultural Council (AU-ECOSSOC) has urged the people of Ekiti not to sell their conscience on the day of the state's gubernatorial election or at the primaries of the political parties where candidates are selected.
Nigerian Representative in AU-ECOSSOC, Tunji Asaolu, who made the appeal in Ado-Ekiti on Monday said the July 14 governorship election would serve a reference point on Nigeria’s preparedness for the 2019 general election.
According to him, the group is ready to enlighten the people of Ekiti on the illegality inherent in the selling of votes, adding that such a thing is the most terrible thing that a society can allow to happen.
“Election is a process, no bad process can produce a good election, so all parties must conduct acceptable primaries. If you sell your conscience on the day of election or at the primaries, your rights as a citizen cease to exist from that point,”
“You can no longer request for good roads that you deserve or ask for qualitative education for your children as a right and other things you are entitled to as a citizen. That is why it is important for you to vote freely for whoever you think will represent the people well,” said Mr Asaolu.
Mr Asaolu also noted that the 2015 elections was certified credibly by international observers and should also serve as reference point for 2019 election.
He said, “Nigeria’s prestige this time is on the line. The civilised world will not accept anything short of free and fair election neither would Ekiti state citizens accept irregularities or business as usual,”
“Everything is going right at the moment for Nigeria: The economy is getting stronger, Nigeria is regaining her confidence after being away from diplomatic circle and finally playing significant role of the giant of Africa.
“For Nigeria to arrive and take her distinguish seat among the comity of nations, she must first and foremost get the election right this time.”
“For primaries to be free and credible, delegates must be allowed to choose their preferred candidate,”
He added “Violence must not be triggered through imposition of candidate that is not the will of the people.
“Thuggery and hate speech should be avoided and money should not be used to cajole our people.
“Again, the INEC must be truly independent to be able to discharge its duties and there should be a right legal framework that will guide the conduct of our elections.”