Dayo Johnson – Akure
The Senate Committee on Independent National Electoral Commission INEC has tasked all stakeholders in the next Saturday gubernatorial election in Ondo State to be law-abiding.
Chairman of the committee, Senator Kabiru Gaya, said this during the committee’s inspection visit to the head office of the commission in Akure ahead of the poll.
Gaya said that the committee was in the state to inspect non-sensitive election materials at the INEC office and interact with the State Residents Electoral Commissioner (REC), Ambassador Rufus Akeju, and his team.
He appealed to all security personnel to be deployed to the state for the election to play their roles as being expected.
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The committee chairman urged INEC to ensure a free and fair election “so that there would be a continuous democratic system in the country.
Gaya added that there would be no violence if the election was free and credible.
Meanwhile, the state REC, Ambassador Akeju noted the commission’s readiness to conduct free and credible elections in the state.
Akeju said this during an interactive session with traditional rulers in the state.
He commended the monarchs “for their roles in past elections and sought their help in the coming election.
According to him “traditional rulers need to admonish their subjects and the general public to avoid violence and not to do anything to deter the successful conduct of the election.
The REC said that 13 out of 14 activities identified by the commissioner had been conducted, adding that what remained was close to political campaign
He noted that “INEC had trained security personnel to be involved in the conduct of the election thoroughly, emphasising that it was expedient for everyone in the state to shun electoral violence as nobody’s life was worth losing because of the election.
Akeju informed the monarchs that the peace accord agreement would be signed by all governorship candidates and party chairmen in the state on Tuesday at Dome International Event Centre, Akure, and would be chaired by Gen. Abdulsalam Abubakar, the former Head of State.
According to him, the signing of the peace accord was necessary to be sure the signatories would not be involved in any form of violence before, during, and after the election.
He reiterated that INEC would do its best to ensure the election would go as appropriate, saying results would be transferred electronically.
He added that though face mask was compulsory before anyone could be allowed to vote, stating that branded face masks would not be allowed.
Responding, the state Chairman of Council of Obas and the Olugbo of Ugbo, Oba Frederick Akinruntan, commended the commission for the job done so far.
Oba Akinruntan promised that “traditional rulers in the state would support the commission for peaceful conduct and the free and fair electoral process.