Civic Group, HEDA Supports US Plan To Monitor Ekiti, Osun Governorship Elections

A civic organisation, the Human & Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA Resource Centre) has applauded the United States Embassy’s interest to monitor the governorship elections in Osun and Ekiti states.
The Political and Economic Chief of the US Embassy in Nigeria, Brandon Hudspeth, had led a delegation to the Osun State governor, Adegboyega Oyetola, in his office in Osogbo, where he (Hudspeth) affirmed that he was hopeful of seeing a credible poll with a pledge to work with the state governments to ensure free, fair and credible outcome from the exercise. 

Hudspeth further said the team would visit security officials, civil societies and other stakeholders before the poll to ensure all critical stakeholders are on the same page ahead of the elections. 
Hudspeth had said, “The reason why we are here is because of the forthcoming election in Osun State in 2022. We hope that the election will be free and credible because there are expectations within and outside this country over the forthcoming elections in these states. Our expectation is that the elections should be fair and credible. We are partners with Nigeria to ensure free and credible elections. 
“We are meeting with you as the first citizen of the state and our officials will also meet security officials, civil societies and other stakeholders. We will be in the state for the next couple of months. We are ready to work with you for a free and credible election in 2022 in this state,” he said. 
While commending the US Embassy delegation, the Chairman of HEDA, Olanrewaju Suraju, urged other foreign governments through their embassies in Nigeria to follow suit by deploying every necessary resource and mechanism that would guarantee peaceful and credible polls in Ekiti and Osun states. 
“We appreciate the US Embassy’s interest in the Ekiti and Osun states’ gubernatorial and by extension elections in different states of the Federation. We encourage other foreign embassies to emulate the US embassy in this regard, all we need is all hands to be on deck to see those elections free from bloodshed, assault and other forms of abuses.”
The US government was further implored to note those behind political offences during the elections for appropriate visa bands and other punitive measures permissible within the US legal and diplomatic system. 
Suraju challenged political stakeholders across the board to play by the rules and respect the laws guiding the electoral process, saying elections would come and go but the memories people create would remain. 
Thus, it’s ideal for everyone no matter the interest involved, to respect the sanctity of life and the sacrosanctity of the supreme laws of electioneering, he noted. 
“Everyone, irrespective of diverse interests, must as a matter of duty play by the rules. We must not bend the law to please anyone. For the electorate, they must stand tall and oppose anyone who wants to buy over their conscience. The past mistakes that ushered in incompetent leaders across the board today are enough lessons to trigger eligible voters to make wiser choices and decisions, it’s high time people went for the ultimate (good governance that engenders Socio-economic and Political growth, development and sustenance) and do away with the mundane immediate gratifications which politicians and their agents dangle before citizens during elections,” he implored. 


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