Governors of the All Progressives Congress (APC) are in Ekiti State to drum up support for Dr. Kayode Fayemi, the party’s flag bearer in Saturday’s governorship election in the state.
Newsmen confirmed the arrival of Governors Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun, Yahaya Bello of Kogi, Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo, Rochas Okorocha of Imo, and Abdul’aziz Yari, who is the Chairman of Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF).
Also already present in Ekiti was Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, head of the party’s reconciliation team.
A source said Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State would not be attending the rally.
Among those still expected are Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, the party’s national chairman, as well as other members of the National Working Committee (NWC).
The presidency confirmed on Monday that President Muhammadu Buhari would be in Ekiti State today for the grand finale rally of the APC.
Femi Adesina, Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, confirmed this in a text message to our correspondent.
“Yes, the President will be in Ekiti for the grand finale rally tomorrow (today),” he said.
President Buhari would meet with leaders of the party before the rally and admonish them on the need to forge a common front so as to secure victory for the party in Saturday’s governorship election.
Security was tight in Ado-Ekiti ahead of the president’s visit as armed policemen have manned strategic areas.
The 30,000 policemen deployed by the Nigerian police for the election had also started arriving as truckloads of uniformed men were seen in several locations on Monday.
Also, all the hotels had been fully booked as at Monday morning.
Some of the hotel attendants said the rooms had been booked until after the election.
The Kayode Fayemi Campaign Organisation has warned Governor Ayodele Fayose against alleged plans to cause trouble during and after the mega rally.
The warning came on the heels of the disruption of the stakeholders’ meeting by members of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) at the Eagle Hall, Ado-Ekiti, on Monday.
The Director of Media and Publicity of the Kayode Fayemi Campaign Organisation, Wole Olujobi, in a statement on Monday said Fayose would be held accountable for any breach of peace if anything untoward happened today as reportedly threatened.
Also, speaking with reporters, Fayemi said he was confident of victory at the polls, adding that what he witnessed during his tour of local governments in the state during the rally showed that the people of the state wanted him back.
Meanwhile, Adams Oshiomhole, National Chairman of APC, has called for military presence to beef up security in Ekiti State ahead of Saturday, July 14 governorship election in the state.
The immediate past Edo State governor stated this on Monday shortly after a closed-door meeting with Paul Arkwright, the British High Commissioner, at his campaign office in Abuja.
Fielding questions from journalists on why 30,000 policemen were being deployed to Ekiti State, Oshiomhole declared that effective presence and performance of both the police and army is required to ensure safety of the electorate.
He added that the move would also safeguard the electoral process.
Citing his experience as a former governor, Oshiomhole pointed out that it is not the number of personnel deployed that matters, but the effectiveness of the force in ensuring safety of voters and ballot boxes.
“Whether they should use the military or not, I don’t think you want to argue that. Over the years since 2003, 1999, the armed forces have always been deployed,” he said.
“Don’t forget when I was in Edo State, I told people that I want the armed forces to be involved in the election because the rigging machine is serviced by criminals who are hardened and who are often hired.”
He assured the British High Commissioner that as chairman of the ruling party, he would do all in his power to ensure a free and fair process in the Ekiti governorship election.
On his part, Arkwright said his country is interested in Nigeria’s democracy and that the UK government intends to send observers to Ekiti to ensure the election is free and fair.