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The Ekiti State Council of Traditional Rulers yesterday threatened to sanction any of its members that politicise the royal stool during the ongoing electioneering campaign.
The chairman of the council, Oba Adamo Babalola, issued the threat at a peace parley held with candidates of various political parties participating in the election in Ado Ekiti.
While further warning his members against partisanship, Oba Babalola urged them to be fair to all contestants.
According to the royal father: “We are calling on the federal government to be father of all and allow Ekiti people choose their Governor.
“The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) must be allowed to function and conduct a free and fair election, anything short of this, we shall resist, particularly if it is seen that the election is rigged,” he warned.
Present at the parley were Governor Kayode Fayemi who is the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC); Mr. Ayo Fayose of the Peoples Democratic Party and Hon.Opeyemi Bamidele of the Labour Party, along with candidates of 18 other political parties that are taking part in the election.
Expressing regret at the level of alleged partisanship of some traditional rulers, Oba Babalola stated that 'kabiyesis' were enjoined to accommodate all candidates.
"We should not play to the gallery. We are Obas,” he advised.
Calling on politicians to be civil in their approach and to shun violence, Oba Babalola said: “We are calling on them to play by the rules.They should not maintain thugs or sponsor violence. It is assumed that if the followers of candidates cause disturbance, it is the candidate who sponsored them."
The monarch who urged the security agencies to improve on their performance also called on the INEC to work against late distribution of electoral materials to designated centres on election day, saying the people will not tolerate such flimsy excuses.
Fayemi urged the monarchs to put their position on rigging in a letter and send it to President Jonathan and the National Security Adviser, Col Sambo Dasuki, for necessary action.
Fayemi however agreed that the incidences of violence had been reverberating in three major parties like the APC, LP and the PDP.
“Competition especially during election is not a bad thing, but unhealthy rivalry is what we are worried about. So, if we are going to have a critical solution, the candidates of these three parties must be ready to sign a code of non-violence, peace and decency in this election,” he said.
He promised that he would work with all relevant security agencies to prevent violence from taking over the state.
Ex-Governor Fayose and Hon. Bamidele of the LP, urged all political parties to comply with the rules to restore peace to the state.
Fayose said: “Those who are committing crimes know in their hearts that they are committing crimes. We only plead with them to allow peace to reign.”
Bamidele hinged the crisis in the state on what he described as the ‘tyranny of incumbency,’ saying “that some of us are running against the governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi is the root cause of these violence.
“Some government officials wanted to prove to somebody that it was wrong to contest against the Governor. I am not desperate because I believe that it is God that enthrones kings. If we contestants are known to be gentlemen, then what shall we do about our followers?” Bamidele asked.
The LP candidate in the Ekiti gubernatorial election pledged to stop a policy of compulsory assessment tests for teachers under Ekiti State Civil Service.
Bamidele made the promise at a meeting in Ado Ekiti held with the teachers under the umbrella of Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT).
He told the teachers that rather than subjecting them to a compulsory aptitude test, he would build their professional capacity through training and re-training.
He also pledged to expose them to current global trends and developments in teaching profession.
"As teachers, we shall give you confidence and professional esteem.
"We shall appreciate you as builders of the society because no nation exits without teachers. This confidence has been eroded over the years. We shall revisit the non-payment of the 27.5 percent increment of pecuniary allowances for teachers being owed by the current administration"
Ekiti teachers are currently in contention with the Kayode Fayemi-led government over a compulsory test regime already introduced by a couple of APC states including Edo and Ekiti States, tagged: 'Teachers Development Assessment (TDA)'.