The chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu and the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Ibrahim Idris have assured Nigerians that the upcoming governorship election in Osun State will be credible.
Speaking separately during a programme tagged: “Election Stakeholders Forum on the 2018 Governorship Election, ” organised by INEC in Osogbo the two critical stakeholders assured the parties that the September 22 governorship election in Osun would be credible based on the efforts they have put in place.
Yakubu in his speech, said INEC has improved on the functionality of the commission’s technological innovations to safeguard the integrity and credibility of elections adding that use of mobile device will not be tolerated at the voting units in order to checkmate vote buying.
LEADERSHIP reports that Yakubu’s comment is coming few days after he said at a YIAGA Africa programme that the Osun State governorship election would be a testing ground against vote buying.
“Our ultimate objective is to ensure that the choice of who becomes the next governor of Osun is entirely in the hands of the voters,” Yakubu said assuring that the 48 candidates in the election will be treated equally.
“Votes will count and only the choice made by the people of Osun and nothing else would determine the outcome of the election,” Yakubu said.
The INEC boss who assured that the commission would tackle vote buying, narrated how the electoral umpire under him succeeded in tackling other challenges.
“The commission had overcome past challenges associated with elections malpractices in the country, and as the process of election could no longer be corrupted, those that want to subvert it had now made the electorate their target through vote-buying,” he said.
Yakubu said they have reviewed the administration of the polling units to make it difficult for voters to expose their marked ballot papers to intending vote-buyers.
He said even though people can’t be banned from taking their cell phones to the polling units, it will be difficult for them to take pictures while voting.
“The electorate from point of accreditation and voting would not be allowed to be with his/her cell phones,” Yakubu added.
IGP Ibrahim Idris on his part, assured the people of adequate security before, during and after the election.
Idris who commended what he described as constant forums orgainsed by INEC ahead of elections, added that it would always help the police in strategising and providing formidable security.
Idris said the police, complemented by other security agents would provide the needed security for the election, adding that 18, 426 police officers would be deployed to Osun for the election.
“Arrangements have been concluded to deploy over 18,426 police personnel, including conventional and PMF units, Intelligence and technical teams to provide security. This number excludes the support services to be provided by other security personnel from the Armed Forces, the Immigration Service, the Prisons, the Custom and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps to complement the efforts of the police.
“Our brother politicians and their supporters are advised to desist from actions that may precipitate violence before, during and after the election,” the IGP added.
He said further: “The police officers deployed for this election have been lectured and educated on electoral conducts, behaviours, laws and offences, and are therefore expected to conduct themselves in a highly ethical manner.”