It is less than 24 hours to the Governorship and State Houses of Assembly elections in Nigeria and preparations are in top gear at all the states participating in the elections.
Oyo State is one of the states where the elections will take place on Saturday. The Head of Voter Education and Publicity of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, in the state, Ayodele Folami, revealed that INEC is fully prepared to mobilise officials to the field for the elections on Saturday.
“The materials had left the Central Bank vault at the state level to the various local governments. When I said materials, I mean sensitive materials such as ballot papers, result sheets and the card readers we have just reconfigured have also been moved to the various local governments where they will be used.”
Folami said that materials will be distributed into wards first and then later into polling units.
He noted that officials, that is Youth Corps members to be used for the elections, have been given refresher talks so they could perform better than they did in the last elections.
Folami claimed that all loopholes have been plugged as smart card readers have been worked on, the issue of late arrival has been dealt with and security agents have promised to be on the ground.
“We made them aware that we are expecting, all things being equal, a larger turnout this time around because Governorship and State Assembly elections can be regarded as grassroots in nature…the security agencies promised to be up and doing and will not be found wanting this time around.”
He added that the Resident Electoral Commissioner, Barr. Mutiu Agboke, has met with collation and returning officers to assure them that Saturday’s elections will be better than the last one.
On the issue of security, the Oyo State Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Olugbenga Fadeyi, assured citizens of Oyo State of adequate security during the elections on Saturday.
Fadeyi asserted that, “The Oyo State Police Command under the leadership of the Commissioner of Police, Sina Olukolu, has set all machinery in motion, all preparations have been done and men have been deployed to all the polling booths within and outside Ibadan metropolis, coupled with assistance from other security agencies.”
The PPRO stated that patrol vehicles, which are to respond to any distress call, are stationed not too far from the polling booths and at all flash points, in case of any eventuality.
“All those areas that we have noted, we have posted all our men and our patrol vehicles all around. We have deployed the K9, our dog version, as well to augment. Our medical teams as well are on ground to assist.”
He assured the citizens of Oyo State that all areas are covered without any problem and they should go out on Saturday, to exercise their civic rights, without any fear of intimidation.