The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), on Thursday, said that over 1,659,000 eligible voters will participate in the election to determine the fate of about 28 candidates participating in the Ondo State governorship election .
The National Electoral Commissioner, Publicity and Voters Education, Solomon Shoyebi, who stated this in Akure, the state capital, during the release of voter register to political parties participating in the election, noted that 80 per cent of the voters were between the ages of 18 and 50.
Shoyebi, who disclosed that the commission would make use of the card reader during the election, called on the electorate to adhere strictly to all the electoral laws and guideline.
The State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) Olusegun Agbaje, while speaking, said there were reports that some politicians were planning to clone the PVC to perpetrate rigging during the election.
Agbaje, who warned against such act said the cloned cards would be detected by the card readers that would be deployed by INEC for the election, which would attract severe punishment.
He said: “We hear people are cloning cards to cheat during the election, cloned cards will not work. the card readers will detect the cloned cards.”
The INEC boss advised voters not to allow anybody to use their card to perpetrate electoral fraud.
“Protect your cards; don’t sell them, it is a criminal offence. There will be enough card readers, so that if any malfunctions, it will be immediately replaced,” he said.
Agbaje revealed that the state office of the commission had had taken delivery of non-sensitive materials and distributed to all the 18 local government areas in the state
He warned the electorates without voters card not to show up at the polling centers on the Election day saying no one would be allowed to vote without the PVC, “voting without card readers is a nullity.” he said
Reacting to the allegation against him and some top officials of the state INEC, by the business mogul, Mr. Jimoh Ibrahim,who said that INEC were compromised, Agabje said “INEC has no candidate for the coming election, anybody who wins will win fairly,” he said.
He explained that he had wanted to approach court on the matter but said that the issues had been addressed by the INEC headquarters in Abuja and said “INEC will not do anything that reduce the credibility it has built through the years,”
Also speaking at the session, Police Commissioner for Ondo State, Hilda Harrison, said the police command was prepared to bring perpetrators of crimes before, during and after the election to book.
She called on political parties to avoid violence and educate their supporters not to destroy posters of political opponents as such acts would be treated as a serious crime.
According to her, some areas had already witnessed pockets o violence, assuring that the police and other security agencies had mapped out strategies to forestall such occurrences.