Kamarudeen Ogundele, Ado Ekiti

The Independent National Electoral Commission has issued a notice of election for the July 14 governorship election in Ekiti State.

The Resident Electoral Commissioner in the state, Prof. Abdul-Ganiyu Raji, at a press conference in Ado Ekiti on Wednesday said this was in accordance with Section 30 (1) of the Electoral Act 2010 as amended.

Raji explained that the section provided that INEC must give a notice of election not later than 90 days to the governorship election.

According to the notice, campaign by the parties for the election will begin on April 15 and end in the midnight of July 12.

He advised the parties to submit the names of their agents by June 30, with a warning that any party that failed to meet the deadline would not have agents for the election.

As part of efforts to ensure that more people register for the election, the REC said 531 registration centres had been created.

He noted that the continuous voter registration in the new registration centres would run between Wednesday April 11 and 16 simultaneously across 177 registration areas in the state.

According to him, the exercise became necessary in order to enhance more participation in the election.

Raji said, “I want to urge members of the public who are yet to register and have attained the voting age to come out and register as we are moving all these centres to them.

“We want to remove all the bottlenecks people have been complaining of which range from economic, to distance and also some political reasons. We are bringing the registration to their doorsteps.

“And we are promising and assuring the people that a few weeks after this exercise, the PVCs  will be ready for collection till the eve of the election and we expect the people to go to our offices for their cards because no Permanent Voter Card, no election.”

The REC added that 513,000 PVCs had been distributed in the state, saying 218,000 cards had yet to be collected for those who registered before April 2017.

Meanwhile, a  member of the 7th House of Representatives and a governorship aspirant on the platform of the All Progressives Congress, Bamidele Faparusi, has said his main focus  was to make Ekiti State the food basket of the South-West, if elected the governor.

Faparusi promised to create 50,000 jobs through agriculture and building of cottage industries.

He said he would establish farm settlements in the three senatorial districts to complement the one in  Orin Ekiti established by the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo administration in the defunct Western Region  to employ the youths.

Faparusi spoke while interacting with some party leaders who paid a solidarity visit to him in commemoration of the 2018 Easter.

He berated Governor Ayodele Fayose for relegating agriculture to the background in the state.

He said it was disheartening that Fayose could fold his arms and allow Lagos State to enter into partnership with Kebbi State in the production of LAKE Rice, saying it had shown that the Ekiti State Government was bereft of ideas and modern exposure on how to develop the economy.

Faparusi said, “We thank God that the South-West regional integration which is being largely driven by the APC governors has opened Fayose’s eyes to rice production.

“In their meeting in Lagos State last week, each state promised to donate 1,000 hectares of land to Lagos for rice production.

“Under normal circumstances, we expected Ekiti to have keyed into this for long having realised the success Lagos and Kebbi made in the production of LAKE Rice.

“Ekiti is lucky in this regard because we already have a brand called Igbemo Rice, all we need to do is to rebrand the package through mass production. This will have a multiplier effect on our economy by producing jobs for our youths, increasing the state GDP which will in turn increase our internal revenue and wean the state from sole reliance on federal allocation for survival.”

Stating his plans for agriculture, Faparusi said he would establish egg village which would contain two feed mills and poultry.

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