Seven days ahead of the 2019 elections, campaigns by political parties in Ekiti State have heightened as politicians now move from house-to-house to seek voters’ support.
Others have also embarked on ‘road-shows in major towns, villages and hamlets to sell their candidates and manifestos of their parties to the electorate.
They are also sensitising the electorate on the dangers inherent in the careless voting that could result in voided votes.
Findings by NAN correspondent revealed that the two leading political parties, the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) and the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are not leaving anything to chances.
In the camp of APC, the party has constituted vote canvassers whose jobs are to go to people’s houses and convince them on why they should vote for the party.
Wife of the Governor, Mrs Bisi Fayemi, who doubles as Chairman of the Women’s wing of the APC Presidential Campaign Council in the state, confirmed the development.
She said that the engagement of the house-to-house canvassers was meant to ensure total victory for all the candidates of the party in the impending general elections.
On the side of the PDP, the same scenario is also playing out, as Senate Minority Leader, Mrs Abiodun Olujimi, Obafemi Adewale and Sen. Duro Faseyi, all wooing voters ahead of the elections.
NAN also reports that Olujimi, Adewale and Faseyi are PDP’s senatorial candidates for Ekiti South, Ekiti Central and Ekiti North Senatorial Districts respectively.
PDP’s Publicity Secretary in the state, Mr Jackson Adebayo, predicted victory for his party in the elections.
NAN further reports that armed security men, consisting of soldiers, policemen, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Immigration as well as the Federal Road Safety Commission are on ground to maintain law and order in the state.
The Police Public Relations Officer, (PPRO), Ekiti State Command, DSP Caleb Ikechukwu, confirmed the deployment.
He, however, clarified that the presence of policemen was meant to guarantee the safety of lives and property.
He said the security men were operating under a special task force, code-named: ‘Operation Make Ekiti Safe.’
Their operations were visible along Ado-Ilawe Road, Ado-Iyin Road, Ado-Ijan –Ikare Road, Ado-Ikere-Akure Road, Ado-Iwiroko-Ifaki Road among others.
The Police spokesman, who also reacted to the special force’s operations in the state since Thursday, dismissed insinuations that the security measure was as a result of the coming elections or recent killing of a police sergeant.
“Stop and search has always been part of the operations of the special task force.
‘‘I think they have the constitutional power to carry out routine checks on people moving in and out to test their compliance to simple rules
“Let me emphasise here that this special force started its operations in Ekiti two months ago and since that time they have been carrying out their jobs in a civilised way; no harassment, no intimidation of any member of the public.
“As its name suggests, ‘Operation Keep Ekiti Safe,’ has to perform the task of making Ekiti peaceful and habitable for all, and ‘stop and search’ is one of those ways to ensure this
“Again, if you observe critically, you would realise that they didn’t mount any roadblock, which suggests that they are not out to suffer motorists or extort anybody.
‘‘They are only carrying out their statutory routine checks,” he said.
He urged members of the public not to be apprehensive about the operations of men in uniform.
Ikechukwu asserted that the operatives were only after those with sinister motives of making Ekiti unsafe before, during and after the elections.