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INEC to deploy 3 natl commissioners, 11 RECs

We’ve foiled politicians ‘ plan to use police uniform for rigging – Arase

Card readers configured, tested, charged and ready

By Boluwaji Obahopo

National Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, yesterday said the commission will deploy three of its National Commissioners and 11 Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) for the conduct of the November 21 governorship election in Kogi.

This is coming as the Inspector General of Police, Solomon Arase warned political parties to desist from sewing police uniform for thugs for the purposes of manipulating the Saturday election in the state.

The duo disclosed this in Lokoja while speaking at the Governorship Election Stakeholders’ Forum.

Prof. Yakubu said the deployment was in line with the Commission’s resolve to ensure free, fair and credible election in the state. “The three National Commissioners will be saddled with the duty of monitoring the election in the three senatorial districts of the state namely; Kogi East, Kogi West and Kogi Central.

Necessary arrangements

“The Commission attaches much importance to the conduct of the Kogi election especially being the first under my watch. All necessary arrangements have been put in place to ensure conduct of free, fair and credible polls.

IGP-Solomon-Arase
IGP-Solomon-Arase

“The Jega-led INEC had raised the bar of the electoral process in the country and Nigerians expect nothing short of that but rather want improvements in the Kogi and other subsequent elections.”

Yakubu said all the non-sensitive materials for the election have been deployed across the state while the sensitive materials are already in safe custody of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, and will be deployed on the eve of theelection in the presence of all stakeholders.

He also assured of INEC’s neutrality in the conduct of the election, “Only people of Kogi can choose who their governor will be and nobody else. Our duty is to deliver free, fair and credible election,” he said.

He restated the Commission’s earlier stand on the use of smart card readers and permanent voter cards for the Kogi election, stressing that those without PVCs will not be allowed to vote just as he called on prospective voters who are yet to collect their PVCs to do so in order not to be disenfranchised.

Card readers configured, tested, charged and ready

“All the smart card readers to be used for the election have been charged, configured, tested and confirmed okay. The Commission has made provisions for over 700 smart card readers as back up in case any of the machine malfunctions.”

The Forum had in attendance, the Inspector General of Police, Solomon Arase, all the five INEC National Commissioners, the AIG in charge of Zone 8, representatives of political parties and their candidates, civil society organisations and representatives of the various security and paramilitary agencies in the state.

We’ll ensure adequate security – Arase

Meanwhile, the Inspector General of Police, Solomon Arase on his own urged the Kogi electorate to come out enmasse and exercise their rights on November 21 without fear of molestation as adequate security arrangements have been made by the Police.

Arase said the Police hierarchy has deployed adequate personnel for effective security before, during and after the election. “The 21 units of mobile policemen have been deployed to Kogi to man security in each of the 21 local government areas of the state in collaboration with the 6,000 policemen already on ground in the state,” he said.

Arase warned those allegedly sewing police uniform to use in committing electoral malpractice to steer clear of the polling units on Election Day as anyone not properly accredited to monitor the election as a security agent would be ruthlessly dealt with.

He charged all policemen deployed for election duty to respect voters’ rights, stressing that all acts of misconduct including intimidation and threat to voters by security personnel will not be condoned.

He, however, said that the military will not directly be involved in election duties but will be assisting in the protection of critical national institutions on the election day.

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