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Kogi poll won’t fall below Jega’s standard –— INEC chairman

Deploys 76 monitors in Kogi, Bayelsa

By Omezia Ajayi

Apparently irked by reports alleging subservience to the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC yesterday affirmed that the people of the state would ultimately decide who becomes governor.

Chairman of the commission, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu made the pledge when he received some security and defence chiefs led by the Inspector General of Police, IGP Solomon Arase. This was even as the commission is set to deploy 76 election monitors for the Kogi and Bayelsa gubernatorial elections.

The monitors who were drawn from different departments in the commission would receive briefing today (Tuesday) before moving to the two states.

Yakubu said the “decision about who becomes the next governor of Kogi state ultimately lies with the people of the state”, saying, INEC will continue to uphold the sanctity of the ballot.

According to him, “if 2015 was a litmus test of how far we have gone in our democratic journey, subsequent elections cannot fall below that bar”.

Yakubu said he does not intend to reinvent the wheel as there are already structures on ground at the commission. “I inherited a system which I intend to strengthen and deepen. In 2011, we started what is known as the Inter-Agency Consultative Council on Election Security, and we are going to continue with that system to ensure adequate security for the polls”, he added.

Earlier, Mr Arase who led representatives of the army and airforce chiefs to the meeting said the police will dominate the security space and will not allow any assault on the electoral process, while in the same vein create a space for INEC to do her job.


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