Tuesday, 3 July 2018


PRESS STATEMENT by Mr. Abiodun Ajijola, National Coordinator Election Monitor on the occasion of the public presentation of the 2018 Ekiti State Governorship Election Observation and Research Guide at Chelsea Hotel, Central Area, Abuja on the 3rd July, 2018.


It is with profound gratitude to Almighty God that I make this address. I wish to recognize all dignitaries and speakers that have taken out of their busy schedules to grace this occasion. I also thank all participants who have put aside one thing or the other to attend this event. For all those who came from outside Abuja, I am especially grateful.  A special thanks to the Election Monitor team which has worked assiduously to make this happen.

As Nigeria prepares for another round of critical elections in Ekiti and Osun States it is pertinent that all efforts are put on deck to make these elections better than previous elections. It is hoped that many lessons should have be learnt from the plethora of elections conducted since the last general elections in 2015 and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is encouraged to ensure that it makes every effort to implement recommendations arising from these elections.

Some areas of key importance for INEC are as follows:

  • ·         INEC should sternly warn all polling officials, that deliberately refusing to use the card          reader will be met with swift and heavy sanctions.
  •       Ensuring consistent adherence to its guidelines on use of card readers. Manual accreditation should not be permitted.
  •       All polling officials should be effectively and properly trained especially on the use of the smart card reader.
  • ·         Communities should be sensitized that if they refuse to allow the usage of card readers in   their communities, elections would not hold in such communities and the voices of the people there would not be heard. There is no alternative to the smart card reader in this election.
  • ·         Logistics should be well addressed to ensure early arrival of electoral materials.
  • ·      Education of the electorate of the effects of non-representation stemming from electoral violence should be sustained.
  • ·         Improvement of communication strategy especially through the media (traditional and social media).
  • ·         Effective sanctions for political office holders and other highly placed individuals involved in Electoral violence. At least handing them over to the police for prosecution.

Some areas of key importance for The Nigeria Police and other security agencies are as follows:

Media reports indicate that the Nigeria Police will deploy 30,000 officers for the Ekiti Governorship Election which is a sharp increase from the 18,000 deployed in 2014 Ekiti State Governorship Election. What this means is that there will be an average of 1 policeman to every 30 voters in Ekiti State for this election. In addition there will be an average of 13 to 14 police officers per polling unit. This is unprecedented in any governorship election in the recent past in Nigeria. With the 18,000 officers deployed in 2014 many said the elections were overmilitarised. With this sharp increase of police deployment this election is going to be the most heavily policed election in Nigerian history. While there have been some election violence related issues the security agencies must be cautious not to aggravate the situation.  The key issue is not only the number of security personnel but also the impartiality and professional conduct of the officers while on electoral duty (welfare of the security agents is also key). The Nigeria Police leadership must endevaour to ensure that the welfare of its officers in Ekiti is taken into full consideration and made available on time.  However there is a need for INEC to appeal to the Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to intervene by providing very clear consequences for security operatives who are partisan and work against the conduct of peaceful elections irrespective of political affiliations. This is key because much of what has happened in the past where insecurity has not allowed the conclusion of the conduct of elections is a show of force of different political actors who have influence over security in different ways.

Political actors should play by the rules and avoid any attempt to interfere or manipulate in the conduct of the 2018 Ekiti State Governorship Election. In addition candidates should desist from making inflammatory statements and threats of violence. It is expected that those involved in such should be apprehended by the security agencies.

INEC needs to continue its development of the Nigerian electoral process by ensuring that it successfully achieves success in all areas within its control and appeals for support and/or intervention in areas outside its control.

Election Monitor's mission is to promote transparent electoral processes in Africa.

In line with this mission, Election Monitor has prepared this document to provide readers with some quality information that can enable them better understand and follow the 2018 Ekiti State Governorship Election. Election Monitor has prepared such documents in the past for previous elections. The two documents which make up this Observation and Research Guide are as follows:
  1.  Governorship Election 
  2. SWOT Analysis of the Candidates

The Pre-Election Update is a document prepared to provide readers with basic background information about Ekiti state, which would provide a good foundation for understanding and following the forthcoming election. 

This SWOT Analysis of the candidates is prepared to provide a comparative analysis of some of the candidates of the 2018 Ekiti State Governorship Election. The methodology used for the comparison is the SWOT Analysis tool.

It is important to state that this publication is unbiased and not prepared in favour of any candidate or party. The cost of preparing this document was borne by Election Monitor.

It is the intention of Election Monitor that this document will support the efforts of information sharing and strengthening the quality of observation of the Nigerian electoral process.

Today we are publically presenting this unique tool with the belief that our efforts will ensure that adequate and proper observation of the 2018 Ekiti State election is achieved. For the sake of our nation and our unborn generations, it is pertinent that every stakeholder especially election observers support INEC to ensure that the 2018 Ekiti Governorship Election is transparent, free, fair, credible and hopefully conclusive on the first ballot.

Election Monitor urges the people of Ekiti state to remain law abiding and come out en masse on the 14th July 2018 to cast their votes.

Thank you all once again for attending this landmark event. I wish us all successful, impactful and fruitful deliberations. God Bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

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