By Charles Adegbite, Ado-Ekiti
The British High Commission in Nigeria has urged Ekiti politicians to refrain from being desperate and violent for successful conduct of the June 21 governorship poll in the State.
The Commission’s Head of Politics, Mr. Paul Edward, emphasised that only a government that is constituted by the collective desire at the poll can muster the legitimacy to deliver on its electioneering promises to the people.
The diplomat gave the advice on Sunday in Iyin Ekiti in Irepodun/Ifelodun Local Government, during a visit to the Labour Party governorship candidate, Opeyemi Bamidele.
Edward said Britain, as a nation, was committed to the survival of democracy in Nigeria and across the globe, saying his visit to Ekiti was not only to ensure the success of the governorship poll but also to strengthen his country’s bilateral relation with Nigeria.
His words: “The international community, particularly Britain, is interested in the growth of democracy across the globe. So, that is why I am in Ekiti State to meet with all the stakeholders on the need to embrace peace for the success of the governorship poll.
“It is always very desirable to allow the governed to elect who governs them. They should be allowed to dictate who leads the government. That was why great leaders around the world like Mahatma Gandhi were popular among the masses.
“At times, as a politician, you may lose the battle and still win the war. I promise that we will work with other diplomatic corps to ensure that democracy in Nigeria survives.”
Bamidele, who acknowledged the role of the Britain in the survival of democracy in Nigeria, lamented that Nigeria was still operating an ascent democracy after over 50 years of its Independence, saying he would continue to partner with all stakeholders to ensure the success of Ekiti poll.
The Federal lawmaker, who pointed out that conduct of election by Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), had always been source of worry to Nigerian citizens, however, expressed optimism that the Commission wouldn’t dash the hope of Ekiti citizenry in the June election.
He said his team has always been running a peaceful and issue-based campaign, pointing out that the LP is not desperate to win the election through violence as being exhibited by other parties.
Bamidele said, “I decided to form a coalition consisting of highly experienced people that had held sensitive positions in various governments in Ekiti in the past and present in order to bring about the needed development in Ekiti State.
“This election is not going to be about individuals, but about the future of this State and how to make sure that Ekiti doesn’t become a failed state. So, I thank the British government for taking interest in Ekiti poll”.
Lamenting that youth unemployment has been a greatest challenge to Ekiti government, Bamidele promised to declare emergency in human capital development and agriculture to give employment to thousands of jobless graduates and other skilled individuals.
The federal law-maker also assured that he would uphold the tenets of equity and fair play in the recruitment to Ekiti State Civil Service if elected.