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INEC not yet accrediting observers for Ekiti poll, says Yakubu

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INEC chairman Prof Mahmoud Yakubu

• REC urges youths to shun money politics, violence
• Fayemi suspends campaign activities, parties charged on internal democracy

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has cautioned that it has not yet commenced accreditation of observers and other officials for the July 14 Ekiti State governorship elections.

Chairman of the commission, Professor Mahmud Yakubu, who disclosed this in Abuja yesterday, said INEC was working with all political parties to ensure more women participation in elective positions.

He spoke at INEC headquarters when the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) network of women in parliament visited him to fine tune ways of improving on the electoral process in the region.

“We have two off-season elections in Ekiti and Osun states, but Ekiti comes first and we are working hard to make it hitch-free because it is going to be our model in next year’s general elections.

“And let me quickly add that for the avoidance of doubts, we have not started accrediting observers for that election yet. Individuals and interest groups have been calling but we have not started the exercise yet,” he said.

Yakubu disclosed that for gender sensitive reasons, the commission has 16’000 staff out of which 32 per cent were women and expressed the hope that its partnership with ECOWAS women in parliament would be sustained for greater women participation in politics and administration.

Speaking, head of the delegation Dr. Suntuki Ugibe, sought to know the number of women working in the commission, saying statistics showed that only six per cent of women were involved in government in Nigeria, while Senegal has 42 per cent of women in government and parliament.

In a related development, the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), in Ekiti State, Prof. Abdul-Ganiyu Olayinka Raji, has urged youths to shun money-induced politics and violence, as the state prepares for the July 14 governorship race.

He charged the youths to change the impression that Ekiti was volatile, saying that when one reads about the state from outside, it would look like it was on fire.

Raji stated this at the Vote, Not Fight, Election No Be War, retreat on Voter Education Campaign in Ado-Ekiti by Young Stars Development Initiative, in collaboration with the 2Baba Foundation and The New Generation for Girls and Women Development Initiative (NIGWD).

Meanwhile, the Minister of Mines and Steel Development and governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Kayode Fayemi, had directed that all activities by his campaign organisation be suspended this week.

A statement in Ado-Ekiti by his Special Adviser on Media, Yinka Oyebode, said the decision was to honour the late Kole Ajayi, a former governorship aspirant of the party, who died last Friday at 51.

Besides, INEC National Commissioner and Chairman, Election and Party Monitoring Committee (EPMC), Professor Antonia Okoosi-Simbine, has charged executives of the 28 newly registered political parties to ensure internal democracy in their parties because the basic tenet of democracy was the right to choose and opportunity to serve.

He gave the charge during a training for executives of newly registered parties at the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), Kuru, Plateau State.


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ECOWASINECMahmud Yakubu
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