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INEC expresses readiness for Osun election

The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC says major activities that will make the commission to conduct free fair and credible election in Osun Governorship election in the next two weeks have been successfully undertaking.

INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmoud Yakubu stated this in Abuja during a meeting with members of Inter Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security.

Professor Yakubu said the special meeting with  the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) , Professor Olayinka Raji and the Commissioner of Police, Wale Olokode in Osun State was to brief them on the state of readiness for the election. 

The INEC boss said the Commission would deploy a readiness assessment team to Osun State next week to assess preparations for the elections. 

He said the officials of the Commission would visit some Local Government offices in the State, hold meetings with INEC staff, and brief the Council of Traditional rulers to solicit the support of their Royal Majesties for peaceful elections as well as meet with the security agencies and transporters. 

 Professor  Yakubu will also said they would observe the mock accreditation of voters in some Polling Units across the three Senatorial Districts of the State to test the functionality of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS). 

The INEC boss also explained that his team would visit the State few days to the election, to meet with the stakeholders and for the signing of the Peace Accord by political parties and candidates under the auspices of the National Peace Committee.

He said arising from the experience of the recent Ekiti State Governorship election, the Commission would  keep a close watch on the security situation in Osun State.

 He stressed that though the environment was generally calm at the moment, the Commission nevertheless was concerned about reports of clashes in some places, in one recent example, the collection of Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) was disrupted in Erin Oke and Erin Ijesha Wards of Oriade Local Government Area resulting in the loss of 46 PVCs.

While the matter is being investigated by the police, the collection of PVCs for the affected Wards is now taking place in the INEC office in Ijebu-Jesha. Meanwhile, the State office has compiled the Voter Identification Numbers (VINs) of the cards and the Commission has already reprinted the PVCs for the affected voters. 

Professor Yakubu gave an assurance that no valid registrants in Osun State  would be disenfranchised on account of such incident.

He said the Commission was working with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to ensure the prosecution of persons arrested in the recent Ekiti Governorship election. 

According to him, action would commence as soon as the EFCC completed its investigation.

 He appealed  to all security agencies to continue to join hands with the Commission to tackle this menace.

On the CTCs,  Professor Yakubu reassured all Nigerians who applied for Certified True Copies (CTCs) of documents arising from the recent party congresses, primaries and nomination of candidates that all requests are being attended to expeditiously despite the huge quantities of documents involved. 

In a remark, the National Security Adviser and Co Chair of ICCES , Major General Babagana Mungonu retired, urged INEC to embark on massive voter education to prevent voter aparthy. 

Represented by Alhaji Sanusi Galadima, the NSA urged the security agencies that would participate in Osun Governorship election to conduct themselves professionally.

Reporting by Ogochukwu Okoronkwo, editing by Daniel Adejo