The United States has urged all stakeholders in the October 10 governorship election in Ondo State to continue to work towards “free, fair, transparent, and peaceful elections”.
In a press release Tuesday, the US embassy in Nigeria reiterated that all participants in the election, including the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), political parties and the security services, should take concrete steps to ensure a peaceful democratic process “that reflects the will of the people of Ondo”.
“The United States remains committed to the U.S.-Nigeria partnership as we work together to achieve our mutual goals of peace and prosperity for the citizens of both our countries,” it added.
The Ondo polls Saturday will see the two major contenders – the incumbent governor and candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC), Rotimi Akeredolu and the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Eyitayo Jegede – jostling for the top seat.
Already, the PDP has raised alarm of an alleged attempt by the ruling APC to rig the elections.
“Our campaign had earlier alerted of desperate moves by the APC to drag in certain officials of the Buhari Presidency as earlier boasted by Governor Akeredolu’s self-confessed thug, Isaac Kekemeke, who exposed that Governor Akeredolu plots to use violence and ‘federal might’ to muscle the election against the wishes and aspirations of the people of Ondo state,” said Kola Ologbondiyan, PDP spokesperson and Chairman of the Publicity Sub-Committee of the PDP National Campaign Council for the Ondo State Governorship Election.
Yesterday, meanwhile, INEC said electoral materials for the polls were expected to arrive from Abuja.
“We have made arrangements for the movement of personnel and materials to electoral locations in all 3,009 polling units and 203 electoral wards across the State.
“This afternoon [Monday], the Central Bank will deliver all sensitive materials for the election to its Akure branch,” said INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, during a stakeholders’ meeting which held at the Dome international culture and event centre in Akure, the Ondo state capital.