Relevant Stakeholders and religious leaders in Ekiti State have called on candidates of political parties to embrace peace as goverrnorship election draws nearer.
The stakeholders gave the advice as the state prepares for gubernatorial election slated to June 18,2022.
The 16 gubernatorial candidates where implored to act according to the armbit of the law before, during and after the election, while cautioning them not to engage in campaign of calumny.
The religious leaders made this known during a stakeholders meeting with party leaders on Thursday, in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital.
The Bishop, Catholic Diocese of Ekiti, Bishop Felix Ajakaiye who spoke at the event enjoined the contestants to imbibe the spirit of sportsmanship while calling on the electorates to shun vote selling.
Bishop Ajakaye said: “We called this meeting to orientate the ignorant fellows following the governorship candidates in Ekiti and all the 16 political parties that are contesting.
“It surprises me when I heard some people speak on Radio because the only politics I know is the one that will thrive for the betterment of all but these people sounded like peace rioters.
“Some of them have taken politics as business. During one election in the state, an 80-year old woman went to some people and took money. Then she said to me ‘Bishop you better go and collect yours.’ That made me sad because it shows that the value we know Ekiti for is gradually being irrelevant.”
On his part, Sheik Jamiu Bello Kewulere, Grand Imam of Ado-Ekiti Central Mosque , admonished the major actors to embrace love and accept the outcome of the poll.
Sheik Kewulere said: “It is centered on the relationship among politicians so that there won’t be disagreement. Hence, for peace to reign in Ekiti State.
“All politicians are implored to believe and have fear of God, especially, all things concerning politics. We should understand that most people are aspiring for the post we are longing for.
“However, we should embrace love and accept the will of God so that disagreement will not enthrone itself. Our children are advised not to act as hooligans, vandals or disrupt the peace of the community.
Meanwhile, the Nigeria Police Force, Ekiti State Command, has reiterated its commitment to ensure a hitch-free exercise.
The Deputy Commissioner of Police, John Babangida, who represented the Commissioner of Police at the event, Moronkeji Adesina, assured electorates of a conducive atmosphere.
In his words: “In line with the spirit of this gathering, the NPF will do the best we can to ensure a rancour free atmosphere for everybody to participate freely.
“We assure you that we will create a conducive atmosphere for electorates to vote. We implore you to go about this exercise because it’s your right to vote while begging that whatever you say should be under the armbit of the law.”
Also, the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, being a major stakeholder, said that the union will accreditate Journalists that will cover the election.
According to the Chairman, NUJ, Ekiti State Council, Rotimi Ojomoyela, “There will be accreditation of Journalists for the election and we want people who are genuine civil society groups to monitor the election.
“We have set-up a taskforce against quackery in the state. We will fight this to ensure that we have a peaceful election. Also, we want to invite all the candidates on 4th June 2022 to tell us what you will do for the people.”