The Ekiti State governorship election holds today June 21. The election will be conducted in the 16 local government areas of the state.
According to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, 18 political parties are fielding candidates in the election.
Analysts say the election is basically between the candidates of three parties – the incumbent governor, Kayode Fayemi of the All Progressives Congress, [APC], a former governor of the state, Ayo Fayose of the Peoples Democratic Party, [PDP], and a member of the House of Representatives, Opeyemi Bamidele of the Labour Party, [LP].
In all, 29 domestic and international observers have been accredited by INEC to observe the election. The international observers include the UNDP/DGD, EU Delegation, British High Commission, United States Mission to Nigeria, Canadian High commission, Embassies of Netherlands, Switzerland, Germany and France.
About 732,106 voters are expected to vote in the election. The gender distribution shows that females are 371, 419 (51%) and males 360, 747 (49%).
There are 2,195 polling units, [PUs], and 2, 803 voting points, [VPs] in the South-west state.
Ekiti State has three senatorial districts, six federal constituencies, and 177 registration areas spreading across the 16 LGAs.
Among the councils, Ado-Ekiti, which is the state capital, has the largest number of voters with 134,141, 297 polling units and 455 voting points while Ilejemeje has the least number of registered voters with only 11,796 and 91 polling units and 91 voting points.
About 7,941 members of the National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, have been engaged as ad-hoc staff to man the booths.
In taking decision today on whom to cast their votes for, the voters may likely be influenced by incumbency factor and performance of the APC candidate, the grassroots mobilizing skills of the PDP candidate and the courage of the LP flag bearer.
Since Nigeria’s return of civil rule in 1999, no governor of the state has been elected for a second term. This might affect the chances of the incumbent.
The corruption case hanging on the neck of the PDP candidate can also be a deciding factor.
Clearly, ethnicity is not an issue here as Ekiti State is one homogenous ethnic state.
PREMIUM TIMES’ Festus Owete and Nicholas Ibekwe are in Ekiti State and are bringing you live updates on the election.