By Adekola Afolabi
Ahead of tomorrow’s general elections, Ondo State Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, on Thursday received a team of International election observers who arrived at the state capital to monitor the Saturday’s polls.
The team of joint mission International Republican Institute (IRI) and National Democratic Institute (NDI) was led by Mr Rahul Srivastava, from the USA.
Other members are Marieme Soda Ndiaye, member of Senegalese Parliament (Senegal) and Jonathan Obatola, a field officer.
The team leader who appreciated Governor Akeredolu for the warm reception given them, particularly informed the Governor that the team was in the state to observe the Saturday’s polls and not to vote.
They also lauded Governor Akeredolu for his various giant strides across all sectors of the economy to make life more meaningful to the people of the state, adding that much have been read about the governor across the world.
Also, the field officer, Obatola, who is from Ondo State, specially applauded Governor Akeredolu for making the state the most peaceful State in the Niger-Delta region through the establishment of Amotekun Corps.
Welcoming the team at the Government House, Alagbaka Akure, Governor Akeredolu said he had also had opportunity of being part of the Commonwealth Observers Group (COG) to Ghana and other countries, before he became governor of the state.
He particularly expressed confidence that the Saturday’s elections will be hitch free, adding that seeing the International observers around also gives the people confidence.
“I must say that in Ondo state we are prepared for this election. We have gotten news and we have followed up that over five thousand security agents; officers and men have been deployed across the state. I believe that should be enough.
“Because of a few misunderstanding of what Amotekun is, they have not involved them in the deployment. We still live in stone age where you believe that a security outfit by sub-nationals will probably serve the interest of the governors. That is unfortunate.
“So, we can say we have double security now. Polling stations are to be secured by usual Police, Civil Defence and other paramilitary agencies.
“So, we believe our people are already energized to work and vote in this election. Those who are going to work are already there and will be deployed by INEC.
“We are also aware that all sensitive materials have been released to INEC from Central Bank, and they are going to move.
“We have never recorded violence on election day, but where people vote and you decided to change the results of the elections, in this state you can’t try it. If you try it people will revolt, they will react. We are educated enough and we are people of courage, that’s how we are brought up in this state.
“It is our tradition to be courageous, so we don’t fear. But like I said, the election will be hitch free and we are hopeful that at the end of the day everybody in the country will accept who wins the election. It should never be a do-or-die affair. Yes, we have our candidate, I belong to a political party but that notwithstanding , I don’t see why we should not accept whoever wins the election as long as the election remains free and fair.
“The only way we should not accept results of election is when we compare notes and see that look, what we have from the field is not right, and we want to challenge at the Tribunal and probably proceed until we get to the Supreme Court”, the Governor stressed.
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