Osun Election: INEC is fully prepared – Jega

“In every polling unit, there will be a cubicle where voters can vote secretly. The constitution says the secrecy of the ballot paper must be protected,” he said.

The National Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, on Wednesday said all was set for the Osun gubernatorial election slated for Saturday.

Mr. Jega announced this at a stakeholders’ forum organised by the commission in Osogbo.

“We have prepared adequately and meticulously to ensure that the election is free, fair and credible.

“We have paid a lot of attention to the training of our staff and ad hoc staff to use and we will protect members of the National Youth Service Corps we normally use.

“We have put measures in place to protect lives and property and to ensure that voters exercise their franchise in a peaceful environment,’’ he said.

The INEC chairman said the commission would ensure that ballot papers for the election had been serially printed to ensure they were not in another state.

According to him, INEC has also customised result sheets at every polling unit so that no politician can use them to produce unauthorised results.

Other initiatives of the commission included the colour coding of ballot papers from one council to another so that it would not be transferable in the council areas.

He noted that sensitive materials, including ballot papers were ready for distribution to local governments’ councils with colour coding.

“In every polling unit, there will be a cubicle where voters can vote secretly. The constitution says the secrecy of the ballot paper must be protected,” he said.

Jega re-assured stakeholders of the commission’s commitment to free, fair and credible election not only in Osun but in the 2015 general elections.

He said people, including traditional rulers, should promote peaceful conduct and refrain from violence as security agents were fully prepared to deal with miscreants.

According to him, accreditation will begin from 8 a.m. to noon, while voting will commence at 12:30 a.m.

“Accredited voters are to join the queue and the voting exercise will not end until the last voter on queue is attended to, voting will then take place simultaneously to prevent multiple voting.’’

Mr. Jega, who advised the electorate not to do anything that would make them fall victim of electoral offences, vowed that the commission would be just, neutral, not partisan, and impartial.

“Our hope is to make sure that Osun election is the best poll so far conducted and everyone should come out to perform their civic duty peacefully,’’ he added.

Suleiman Abba, the Acting Inspector-General of Police, said that security agencies were concerned with the security of voters, INEC staff and election materials.

Abba said the police would protect the integrity of the election and ensure that the election met the requirement of democratic principles and international best practices.

He, however, warned sponsors of thugs to beware because law enforcement officers were not only on land but in the air that day.

Mr. Abba, however, assured law abiding citizens of police protection, saying every voter should feel free and secured to cast their votes on Saturday.

(NAN)


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