The Catholic Bishop of Ekiti Diocese, Most Rev Felix Ajakaye, has appealed to political parties angling to participate in the June 18 governorship poll in Ekiti State, to conduct credible primaries to avert violence and bloodshed that could heat up the polity and truncate the electoral process.
He advised electorate to resist attempt by those he described as “political opportunists” to forcefully take over governance in the June 18 governorship poll.
Bishop Ajakaye, said the success of the forthcoming election would depend largely on how major political parties, especially the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) organise their primaries.
The admonition was contained in his new year message and made available to newsmen, in Ado Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital .
The Bishop in a message titled: ‘2022, Year of Optimism’, and released by the Cleric, said : “In Ekiti State ,Land of Honour and Integrity, by God’s grace, on Saturday, June 18, 2022, there will be election to elect a new governor. I urge the political parties to organise their primaries in ways that the best will emerge as candidates from their numerous aspirants.
“Thus, there must not be room for political opportunists and one-off politicians to take over our dear state. We need God fearing , positive -oriented and competent person as the governor of our dear state, that is, a pure Omoluabi”.
Bishop Ajakaye urged electorate to halt the barbaric and crude electoral practices of vote buying and selling , saying the two are criminal offences and that those indulging in such should always be treated as “criminals”.
The man of God urged politicians to eschew bellicose and belligerent dispositions and resist attempt by criminals to infiltrate the state and turn Ekiti into a battleground.
“I also urge the Independent National Electoral Commission to be practically independent and organise free, fair and credible election . Our dear state must not fail , our Nigeria must not fail”.
Praying for a merry and joyous year for Ekiti and Nigerian citizens, Bishop Ajakaye added: “My brothers, sisters and friends, blessed , joyful and spirit-filled 2022 to you all. May this world be better than last year for all of us. May God’s plans for all of us materialise , both individually and collectively.
“May Jesus Christ the light heal the would of Covid 19 pandemic ravaging the world. Let us strive to make positive impact wherever we are”.