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INEC bars govs, deputies, others from monitoring elections

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*As Oyo CP accuses politicians of giving arms to thugs

BY OLA AJAYI

IBADAN- UNLIKE the previous elections when governors, their deputies and other public officers moved about unhindered , the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC,  has said such movement and undue influence would not be allowed in the April elections.

It said the restriction order did not exclude anybody except those on election duties,  pointing out to them a relevant section in the amended Electoral Act that they were also barred from serving as party agents unless they resigned their appointments.

This disclosure was made yesterday by the Resident Electoral Commissioner in Oyo State, Mr. Ayo Adakeja, during a meeting with leaders of political parties and security chiefs in the state.

The categories of people that must not act as party agents include local government chairmen, members of a local government, commissioners in a state, deputy governor, or governor of a state, minister or any other person holding political office under any tier of government.

When asked that some governors, their deputies and other members of executive do move about under the guise of monitoring election, he simply replied, “no vehicular movements during the election. If anybody moves about without having the right to do so, he would be arrested by security agents. Nobody has the right to move about no matter  how highly placed except those on election duties”.

As for the accreditation, voter education and voting proper, he did not give any deadline for the voting to end clarifying that accreditation would be done between 8am and 12 noon after which voting proper would commence.

Speaking at the forum, the State Police Commissioner, Mr. Baba Adisa Bolanta pointed accusing fingers at politicians  saying they were the ones encouraging thugs by giving them arms and ammunition.
While vowing that anybody caught with weapons would be taken as an armed robber, he promised to recover all dangerous weapons in circulation with the assistance from the people who would give them information about places where the arms were kept.

He stated further that the security arrangement would be boosted by the inclusion of the military and other security agencies.

On the call for his redeployment from the state by some politicians, the REC said, anybody who had substantiated proof that he had compromised should forward such petition to Abuja where necessary action would be taken.

Assuring the stakeholders that he would be an unbiased umpire, he added that he did not need any assistance as regards provision of logistics for the election.

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