INEC, police seek stakeholders support for hitch-free Ondo election
Five days to the Ondo State governorship election, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the Nigeria Police, on Monday, met with stakeholders in Akure, Ondo State capital, as part of preparation towards the smooth conduct of the election.
Speaking during the meeting, the INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, assured that the commission would improve on the performance of the last governorship election in Edo State.
He disclosed that the commission had identified about 16 areas of improvement, which include, logistics, prompt response to Smart Card Reader hitches on Election Day, the menace of vote-buying during elections and compliance with COVID-19 protocols among others.
He assured that the Commission would improve on these areas to ensure the success of Ondo State election.
According to him, “For this reason, we identified 16 areas of improvement, including logistics, prompt response to Smart Card Reader glitches on Election Day, the menace of vote-buying during elections and compliance with COVID-19 protocols.
“In response, we have engaged with land and maritime transport owners for forward and reverse logistics to and from land and riverine locations.
“We have engaged an additional 104 Registration Area Technical Support (RATECHS) staff to respond rapidly to issues with Card Readers on Election Day.
“We had useful discussions with the security agencies and anti-corruption agencies on how to deal with vote-buying during elections.”
He, however, solicited for the cooperation of the stakeholders and the people of the state to ensure a hitch-free election and assured the electorates and the public that sensitive materials would be deployed as scheduled.
He added that Smart card readers will be used during the election while the face recognition feature of the ZPad will be utilised for this election.
The INEC boss advised political parties and their supporters to maintain peace for the conduct of the exercise to be peaceful.
“I wish to assure all eligible voters that every vote will count and only the choice made by the people of Ondo State will determine the outcome of the election.
“I want to assure political parties and candidates that we will remain focused on our processes and procedures,” he said.
The IGP Mohammed Adamu assured of the avowed commitment of the Nigeria Police Force and other security agencies to a free, fair, credible and successful election in the election.
He disclosed that the Nigeria Police Force has identified some flashpoints for violence in the state and are under watch, advising the public to follow the guidelines for a peaceful election.
He said a total of 33,783 police personnel which comprise of 30,933 conventional police personnel and 2,850 Special Police units would be deployed for the election, while the Police deployment “will be complemented by an additional 3,500 manpower that will be drawn from other Security Agencies.”
“This personnel shall be deployed to adequately secure the 3,009 Polling Units (PUs) in 203 Wards spread over the 18 Local Government Areas of the State.
“They are to protect the personnel and assets of the Independent National Electoral Commission, the electorates, and residents of Ondo State in general before, during and after the elections.
“In ensuring the credibility of the process, we have undertaken security threat assessment and all the flashpoints and actors engaged in, or planning to threaten the electoral process in Ondo State have been identified and strategies have been emplaced to frustrate their criminal, unpatriotic and undemocratic intentions.
“The Military will be engaged for the purpose of securing the Inter-State borders while the Nigeria Police Airwing will provide air surveillance.”