Ekiti State Governor, Chief Ayodele Fayose, has charged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the Federal Government to conduct credible governorship poll in the state next year.
He expressed optimism that his party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) will emerge victorious.
He stated this in Ado-Ekiti on Friday while reacting to the announcement by INEC that the governorship election in the state has been fixed for July 14, 2018.
In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Idowu Adelusi, he quoted the governor as saying that he and his party were fully prepared for the poll.
“We are happy, prepared and expectant of the date for the election and it has come. I only want to appeal to INEC to live to the expectation of Nigerians by conducting a poll that is not manipulated. It must be credible. free and fair. The one we had in 2014 was rated high by local and international observers.
“In fact, the United States Government commended it and said it should be a benchmark for other elections in the country. I am aware of plans being hatched by some failed politicians that they would use INEC and federal might to take over Ekiti.
“We are on ground and nobody can use any foul means to take over Ekiti State. If they have been doing that elsewhere that won’t work here. We are on ground and we want to let them know that we will resist any attempt to manipulate anything here. Already part of their plan is to cripple the state financially and they have started that by illegal arrest and detention of our people, but the power of the people will prevail in the end.
“They are also planning to begin electronic transfer of election results with Ekiti State, no one can use us as a Guinea Pig for one useless experiment. The voters and the people of the state must decide who they want to govern them,” he said.
On whether he was jittery that his party could lose the election, Fayose debunked such a claim, saying if the election was held today, his party and candidate would win hands down.
“I am the voice of the opposition in Nigeria and nobody can muzzle me. We cannot all head in the same direction.
“We need a virile opposition for our country to reap good and great dividends of democracy.
“Some All Progressives Congress leaders are boasting that they had input into the appointment of some INEC top shots and that they would do their bidding, but that won’t work, the choice of the people and their voice must prevail and be heard,” he added.