The Ekiti State Independent Electoral Commission (SIEC) yesterday said a total of 14 political parties will participate in today’s local government polls. SIEC’s Chairman, Justice Jide Aladejana spoke in Ado Ekiti’ yesterday during the distribution of sensitive election materials to the 16 local government areas for the conduct of the chairmanship and councillorship election.
He said the Commission decided to allow those whose Permanent Voter Cards had either got lost or defaced to vote with driver’s licence or national identity to allow more grassroots people to participate in the election. We have decided that those without PVCs but have their names on the voter register to vote with other universally acceptable means of identification because we are not using smart card readers,” he said.
“INEC decided to insist on the use of PVCs only in national elections because of the smart card readers and once we are not using the gadget, registered voters without PVCs can still identify themselves with acceptable ID cards and vote”. The SIEC boss stated that the main opposition party, People’s Democratic Party (PDP) will participate in the election and had fielded candidates across the 16 councils and 177 wards contrary to insinuation that the party may boycott the poll. Aladejana who briefed party leaders and newsmen said only four political parties fielded candidates for the election. But he added that the 14 political parties that purchased the expression of intent forms were put on the ballot despite that many times they failed to present candidates for the poll. He assured that adequate security has been put in place in collaboration with the security apparatuses from the police, Nigerian Security and civil Defence Corps and the Department of State Services to ensure peaceful conduct of the election.