Chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Atahiru Jega on Wednesday in Benin announced that he personally selected the Supervising Polling Officers and Collation Officers for the Edo state governorship election holding on Saturday to prevent politicians from making attempts to induce them.
Professor Jega who made the announcement while addressing a stakeholders’ meeting ahead of the governorship election, said the action was proof that the electoral umpire was ready to conduct a free, fair and credible election, adding that the commission created 5513 voting points in 2627 polling units in the state to hasten the voting process.
He refuted text messages being circulated that INEC has changed venue of some polling units and collation centres, adding “INEC has not changed any collation centre. Any change in collation centres is cancellation of elections.”
The INEC boss, who expressed satisfaction with preparations so far made for the election, said movement will be restricted including those regarded as VIP in the society and urged stakeholders to key into INEC’s plan for them to deliver on promise.
According to him, the best personnel had been recruited for the election, revealing that each local government would have Electoral Officer and a Resident Electoral Commissioner to monitor the election.
“All eyes both the international community are on Edo State. We are prepared to do our best for the best candidate to be chosen by the people,” Prof. Jega said, pointing out that the challenge was for contesting political parties and candidates to have their agents on ground.
To further underscore INEC’s readiness for the election, the INEC chairman said “we have laptops and projectors where results will be entered and displayed electronically for all to see but it is the result signed that will be declared by INEC.”
While blaming politicians for abusing the voter’s register given to them to send wrong messages to the voters, Prof. Jega said photocopied voters cards would not be allowed to be used and warned that anybody caught selling or buying voter’s cards would be prosecuted.
He warned state broadcast stations against announcing results that have not been officially released, just as he ordered the removal of campaign posters and billboards in public places where voting are to take place.
- PM News