The Inspector-General of Police (I-G), Ibrahim Idris and the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahooud Yakubu, have assured Nigerians and political stakeholders that the Osun Sept. 22 Governorship election would be credible based on efforts put in place.
The I-G and INEC chairman both gave the assurance while speaking at the “Election Stakeholders Forum on the 2018 Governorship Election”, organised by INEC on Monday in Osogbo.
Yakubu in his address said “I assure you that votes will count on September 22. Let everyone be aware that campaigns end in the midnight of Thursday, that is, early hours of Friday and the last step is the election that shall follow on Saturday. The choice of who eventually emerges as the next governor is entirely in your hands”.
The INEC boss said while voters may take phones to the polling units, they would not be allowed to take them into the polling booth.
He noted that vote buying remained the only major challenge to the electoral process.
Meanwhile, 18,426 policemen and other support personnel from military and para-military agencies have been deployed for the Saturday governorship election.
According to the inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, no less than four policemen would be attached to each of the 3010 poling units in the state.
He maintained that the officers have been properly trained, even as he stressed that enough fund for the payment of the officers’ allowances has been provided by the government.
“Arrangements have been concluded to deploy over 18,426 police personnel, including conventional and Police Mobile Force units, Intelligence and technical teams to provide security. This number excludes the support services to be provided by other security personnel from the Armed Forces, the Immigration Service, the prisons, the Custom and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence corps to complement the efforts of the police.
“The police officers deployed for this election have been lectured and educated on electoral conducts, behaviours, laws and offenses, and are therefore expected to conduct themselves in a highly programs ethical manners,” he said.
While commending Osun State citizens for maintaining peaceful conduct so far, the police boss stated that a Commissioner of Police will coordinate each of the Area Command office to ensure water tight security.
The Resident Electoral Commissioner, Mr Olusegun Agbaje reassured the electorates of the readiness of the electoral umpire for the poll.
He said for optimal performance, a total of 4,761 Smart Card Readers would be used for the conduct of the election.
“One Smart Card per polling Unit = 3010, One Smart Card per Voting Point = 755; and Three Smart Card per Registration Area = 966 to serve as back up,” he explained.
The REC said a credible Register of Voters with 807,598 males (48%) and 874,897 females (52%), making a total of 1,682,495 registered voters is in place.
He added that, of the 1,681,930 Permanent Voter Cards received, 1,237,620 (72.58%) were collected and a total of 444,310 (26.42%) remained uncollected as at Monday morning.
Call for peace
Speaking at the occasion, a paramount traditional ruler, the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi appealed to politicians and their supporters to desist from actions that may precipitate violence before, during and after the election.
“We must realise that this country is greater than every one of us. We all must therefore combine forces. I therefore appeal to the spiritual and traditional leaders to play neutral role to ensure Osun becomes the minor of credible election for the next year general election.
“I also advise politicians to rather concentrate their energies on providing infrastructural development and good governance to put Nigeria among the comity of developed and civilised nations, realising that even if you run away, you can’t take your entire family members and relatives with you,” the Ooni said.
The Ooni appealed to the gubernatorial candidates to imbibe the spirit of sportsmanship, leave the result of everything to God and refrain from instigating the youths to violence.
He similarly urged the parents to advise their wards against violence.