Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State has warned that people of the state would resist any attempt to rig the forth coming governorship elections in the state slated for June 21.
Fayemi made this known in an interview with journalists in Ado Ekiti on Saturday, while reacting to a statement credited to Vice-President Namadi Sambo.
Sambo was quoted as saying that for the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, the governorship elections in Ekiti and Ondo states were akin to going to “war”.
Fayemi said his first reaction was that the Vice-President had been misquoted but that when he read the statement in more than five newspapers and there was no rebuttal by the Vice President nor his office, he is inclined to believe it.
He expressed disappointment that such a statement could come from the number two citizen of Nigeria. This, he said, says a lot about the thinking of members of the ruling party.
He explained that it is on record that the people of Ekiti have a history of resisting vote rigging right from when they were part of old Ondo State. This trend, he said, has not changed.
Fayemi said “This is Ekiti and people who are familiar with the history here would know that this is not a very good place to rig election. You can afford to manipulate elections in Anambra because Anambra has a lot of rich people who are even richer than the governor.
“My friend, Peter Obi, used to say to me when he was still the governor that there are so many people with mobile police and security that they throw him off the street, even when he was still governor.
“So, an election is not what Anambra people see as big deal; yes, they are interested but it is not for them any big deal.
“In Ekiti, you will discover that everybody is interested in what happens because we have 2.5million governors in this state. Every single indigene believed he has what it takes – that he understands government and that he knows how to govern.
“So, you can’t say such a person does not have an opinion. And when you try to manipulate elections in a place like Ekiti, the result has not been palatable.
“Whether you refer to 1964 – 65; Ekiti was even more of a resistance zone than Ikenne. And of course, when you talk of 1983, we all can remember what happened here.
“Even though our son was the person seen to have perpetrated the crisis; they still did not spare him and his supporters”.
Governor Fayemi noted that from his experience, Ekiti people have demonstrated that they are too sensitive to allow external interference in their affairs.