Ekiti State Governor, Mr. Biodun Oyebanji on Saturday voted at his Ikogosi country home in the first local government council election conducted by his administration.
The Governor who voted at his Ward 6, Unit 003 Okelele Street, Ikogosi-Ekiti around 11.40am, commended the State Independent Electoral Commission (SIEC) for a seamless and peaceful electoral process. He also thanked Ekiti electorate for the peaceful conduct in the election which took place in all the 16 local Government Areas (LGAs) and 22 Local Development Council Areas (LCDAs)
Speaking with journalists shortly after casting his vote, the Governor expressed delight that people at the grassroots were able to choose their representatives at local government and the 177 wards without fear or threat or any form of crisis.
Governor Oyebanji described local government election as strategic and fundamental to the delivery of dividends of democracy to the grassroots.
The Governor who scored the current local government administration in many of the council areas in the state high in the areas of infrastructure development, maintained that local governments are viable instruments of grassroots political participation, socialization, economic and infrastructure development.
While commending the State Independent Electoral Commission and the security agencies in the state for the peaceful conduct of the election, the Governor said government would continue to prioritize voters’ education and sensitization across the state in order to foster a more robust democratic process and participation.
“I am happy that as government we are doing this, because local government election is the most critical arm of government with respect to delivering government policies at the grassroots level and it is very important to democratise government at this level because it is the closest to the people and the beauty of democracy is to have representatives at that level being elected by the people and am happy that we have done this in Ekiti State.
“I am also happy because the people on their own have the opportunity to choose their representatives at local government level and at the ward level. So far so good, the turnout is a bit low and that tells us we need to do more on voters’ education and sensitization.” The Governor asserted.
A remarkable development in the Saturday local government election is the unprecedented huge number of female candidates vying for various positions. This include seven female candidates for the chairmanship; 16 candidates for the Vice Chairmanship position and 33 candidates for the councillorship position.
The development, according to Governor Oyebanji, is not only heart-warming, but speaks to the fact democracy is taking a firm root in Ekiti State.
It is recall that pursuant to Section 5, Subsection 1 of the Ekiti State Independent Electoral Commission Law (Third Amendment) No. 13 of 2021, on September 29, 2023, the Ekiti State Independent Electoral Commission (EKSIEC) announced that the 2023 LGA and Local Council Development Area (LCDA) elections will be conducted on December 2, in the 16 LGAs and 22 LCDAs across the state.
On Saturday 7th of October 2023, Ward Congresses held to elect Chairmanship and Counsellorship candidates.
Submission of the list of qualified and unqualified candidates to political parties and replacement of candidates by political parties was held between 6th- 10th of November, 2023.
Publication of names of electoral officers nominated by political parties and issuance of notice of polls held on the 20th of November 2023.
Tuesday, November 21, 2023: The candidates of the All Progressives Congress (APC), kicked off their campaign exercise across the state at ward and local government levels ahead of the December 2, 2023 polls.
Thursday, November 30, 2023: Distribution of election materials by the Ekiti State Independent Electoral Commission for the LGA/LCDA elections commenced.
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