- All eyes are on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as the Ekiti state governorship election approaches
- The electoral body has however assured Nigerians that the election will be free and fair
- INEC says the quality ICT infrastructure in place for the polls will make the exercise credible
INEC has given assurances that the Ekiti state governorship election slated for Saturday, July 14, cannot be rigged, due to the quality ICT infrastructure in place.
The commission said the notion peddled in some quarters that the election will be rigged runs contrary to the reality on ground.
The Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Ekiti state, Abdulganiy Raji, gave the assurance in Ido Ekiti on Tuesday, June 12, during a town hall meeting entitled, Vote not Fight. The meeting was organised to sensitise the youth ahead of the election, Premium Times reports.
NAIJ.com gathered that the programme was funded by National Democratic Institute (NDI), United Kingdom Agency for International Development (UK aid) and United State Agency for International Development (USAID).
He said the election process had been digitalised and the voting exercise would be monitored electronically.
Raji, represented by the electoral officer in Ido/Osi local government, Ajayi Olusola, said the commission had strengthened its system and made it technologically driven. He said it would be difficult for anyone to tamper with the outcome of the election, given the security of the process.
“Go and get your Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs). Your vote is your power and let me tell you that your votes will surely count.
“INEC is not partisan, we are fair to all parties. We are going to monitor the voting electronically. No one can rig election with the kind of ICT we have put in place and we are going to monitor the activities of parties to ensure that we have a peaceful poll," he said.
The Ekiti state commissioner of police, Ahmed Bello, who was represented by the area commander in charge of Ido/Osi, Ijero, Moba, Ilejemeje and Efon local governments, Adegbepa Adetoye, assured the voters that the command was resolute to provide adequate security of lives and property.
His words: “On our side, we are going to be neutral. We are not going to take sides and we will ensure that we monitor the election in the most professional way to enforce compliance to rules.
“Part of our duties is enforcement of law and order. We also owe it a duty to preserve the 1999 constitution and the Electoral Act. We are assuring our people that we shall be civil and neutral in this election."
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Meanwhile, YIAGA Africa’s Watching The Vote (WTV) will be deploying 500 stationary observers to 250 sampled polling units across the 16 local government areas in Ekiti state with 24 mobile observers and 16 LGA collation observers.
NAIJ.com gathered that recruitment of observers is currently going on in each of the 16 LGAs in Ekiti state ahead of intensive training on election day observation and report to the YIAGA Ekiti state WTV data center which will be located in Ado-Ekiti.
NAIJ.com special report on Anambra governorship election on NAIJ.com TV