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2018: U.S to ensure free, fair election in Ekiti ambassador commends Fayose, on infrastructure
By Lere Olayinka
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The United State of America (U.S.A) ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Stuart

Symington has assured that his country will work with all stakeholders in

order to ensure that July 14, 2018 gubernatorial election in the state is

free, fair and credible. This was also as he commended the governor of

Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose on laudable infrastructural development in the


Symington, who visited governor Fayose alongside his aide, Mima Torres, and

was received with pomp at the Ayoba House in the governor office, said he

was impressed with the patriotic zeal of Nigerians, saying: "

Nigeria, are proud to be Nigerians, when you ask them what they love most

about their country, they would say it is our our resilience, energy,

diversity, unity and friendliness"

The U.S envoy who told governor Fayose that his three years in office has

been keenly observed by the U.S, said the infrastructural development

strides of the governor is commendable.

Stating the purpose for his visit to the state, Symington said: "We are in

Ektiti because we believe in Nigeria, every state, every corner matters.

We have seen what you have done in the last three years, it is very


Our concern in U.S is that we want to see leaders who care about others and

not themselves."

Symington also urged Fayose to support to ensure support for Ekiti woman

who are interested in Agriculture, he revealed that the U.S is particularly

interested in what programme governor Fayose has for the Nation as a

presidential hopeful.

He stressed on the need for free, fair and credible elections , and

promised that the U.S will ensure that subsequent elections in Nigeria,

particularly in Anambra and Ekiti States are free and fair and credible.

" The U.S will work with other stakeholders to ensure that elections are

free, fair and credible in Nigeria. We believe that we must have elections

where people will be ready and willing to participate in, that is, a

peaceful and orderly election, "Symington said.

Responding, Governor Fayose said the major problem retarding the growth of

the country was poor attitude by the people and the insincerity of leaders.

He decried a situation where those claiming to be fighting corruption do so

with some people being their targets.

He recalled that despite many allegations and petitions against the

immediate past governor of the state, Dr Kayode Fayemi, he has not been

investigated or charged to court because he is a chieftain of the ruling

All Progressives Congress. He also decried the various intimidation,

harassment and illegal detention of Ekiti government officials by ruling

federal government agents.

"Our greatest challenge is not corruption but insincerity of leaders. Those

claiming to fight corruption are not sincere. Without justice, we can't

move forward. There must be equity in the way we do things. Being selective

in the fight against corruption will not take us anywhere.

On his presidential ambition, Fayose assured the U.S envoy that he is

eminently qualified to rule the nation: "I have the required experience to

lead this country. I have worked with the presidents we have elected into

office in this country and am able to manage the economy of my state

despite lean resources. In the US and the UK they ask you your experience

when seeking for a job not your paper qualifications. I have managed a poor

economy in my state and that shows my ability to deliver," he said.

On the coming governorship election in the state, Fayose said the

opposition would not be able to win 10 out of the 177 wards in the state.

He urges the U.S to ensure the Nigerian government allows a free and fair

election. He assures that his government and party would play the game with


"We are in firm control and the people are in our support. We just want to

appeal to America and the international community to keep an eye on the

poll. We don't want INEC to come to our state with preloaded card readers

or manipulate the process. We are sure to repeat the victory of 2014 when

we won on all local government areas," he stated.

The governor also urged the U.S envoy to give special consideration to

Ekiti indigenes who are awarded government scholarship for studies and

training in U.S, saying denying them visas on grounds that they may not

return isn't helping the situation. He assured U.S that all indigenes whose

traveling is okayed by his government are well behaved people.

Also speaking, Chairman of the House of Assembly Committee on Information,

Dr Samuel Omotoso accused the federal government of punishing the People of

Ekiti State because of the alternate views of Governor Fayose.

"As we all know Your Excellency, Democracy must encourage alternate views.

The people of Ekiti state are suffering unjustly because of the alternate

views of our Governor.

"Twice, the State Allocation has been stopped with serious collateral

damages on emergencies like immunisation and maintenance of the cold chain

system as well as the inability of the State to meet her financial

obligations to the citizens.

"We adopted the American model of democracy in Nigeria where States and

Federal should coexist peacefully but this is not applicable in modern day


"Mr President is supposed to be a father to all after the election but what

we have is the reverse. It’s all forms of segregation and discrimination

across the land.

The Federal Government through the institutions encourages double standards

across boards," he said.