The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has appealed to politicians to keep thugs away from polling and collation centres during Saturday’s Osun West Senatorial bye election.
Mr. Baritor Kpagih, the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) for the bye election made the appeal during a stakeholders’ meeting held on the election on Monday in Osogbo.
He gave an assurance that security agents would be on ground during and after the election to provide security.
Kpagih, however, appealed to politicians to keep their thugs away from polling and collation centres to make the job of the security personnel easier.
He said he had visited the 10 local government areas where the election would hold and discovered that people in those areas were highly educated, civilised and peaceful.
Kpagih, who expressed optimism that the election would be conducted peacefully, said “we are going to have a good day.’’
He said 11 political parties would be taking part in the bye election while accreditation and voting would be carried out simultaneously on Election Day as from 8 am to 2 pm.
The INEC official said only Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) and smart card readers would be used for the election.
He said INEC would create voting points close to polling units to ease long queues and congestions at polling centres.
The Osun Commissioner of Police, Mr. Olufimihan Adeoye, also appealed to politicians to conduct themselves well during and after the election.
Adeoye equally advised politicians and candidates of political parties to impress it on their supporters to conduct themselves in a manner that would not violate the law.
He said anybody caught violating the law would be dealt with as an individual and not as a member of a political party.
The police boss said those without accreditation or clearance should stay away from polling units and collation centres on Election Day.
He also said movement would be restricted between 6 am and 6 pm in the senatorial areas where the election would take place and advised political parties to mobilise their members to vote during the outlined time.
Mr Idowu Adebowale, the Osun Comptroller of the Nigerian Immigration Service, said only eligible Nigerians would be allowed to take part in the election.
Adebowale said that those married to Nigerians were still not qualified to vote except they had formally applied and naturalised to become citizens.
The Osun Coordinator of the National Youth Service Corps, Mr Emmanuel Attah, warned politicians and their agents not to harass, intimidate or attack any corps member engaged by INEC for the election.
Attah said the NYSC was an apolitical institution and corps members should not be molested.