By Harris Emanuel – Uyo
Electoral umpire, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), and security agencies on Monday met to strategize with a view to ensuring a credible and rancor free elections at Essien Udim Council of Akwa Ibom State.
The rerun elections billed for Saturday, January 25, are to be conducted for the Senate, House of Representatives and House of Assembly respectively.
Commissioner of Police, Imohimi Edgal said that only accredited police personnel with tags would be allowed to secure the units during the conduct of the rerun polling warning that heavy sanction would be meted out to any unaccredited police personnel found in any of the units where the election is taking place
He said, of the 159 polling units in Essien Udim, the election would be conducted in 137, adding that the Police and the electoral umpire would continue to enlighten the electorate and the critical stakeholders on the need to maintain the peace.
According to him, adequate security would be provided by the Police working in tandem with other security agents to ensure that thuggery and other electoral malpractices are checkmated.
Also speaking, Resident Electoral Commissioner, Mike Igini, stated that the Commission would not leave any stone at ensuring credible poll, as according to him, ‘’this election is going to be the most supervised and monitored’’.
He said INEC would use the card reader in the election so as to authenticate the genuineness of voters and berated the political class for always arming thugs to disrupt electoral process even as he described as shameless the practice of vote-buying and selling
Igini stated that the Nigerian electoral problem starts from the faulty nomination of candidates by the parties due to the obvious lack of internal democracy among the political parties.
He added, ‘’ most troubling in Nigeria, politicians want to determine Adhoc staff so that they can have control on the election day. It is not for the candidate to write results and bring it to the umpire. The elite does not subscribe to the notion of one man, one vote and rigging process starts from voters’ registration.
‘’ Election period should not appear as if we are going to war. It should be a period that people who registered to vote are allowed in a free atmosphere to exercise their franchise who should be their leader and representatives’’.