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Edo goes to the polls for new governor tomorrow



• INEC to assist physically challenged persons
• 500 mobile policemen drawn from Ebonyi

In the race for a new governor, the 19 political parties in Edo State will know their fate tomorrow as they go to the polls. Registered voters in the 18 local governments are expected to choose a successor for the outgoing Governor Adams Oshiomhole.There was a meeting yesterday of top Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) officials at the Bishop Kelly Pastoral Centre along Airport Road, Benin City.

The meeting, The Guardian learnt, had electoral officers and local government officials drawn from the 18 local governments in the state. There were also core INEC officials from adjoining states of Ondo and Delta in attendance, brainstorming on how to ensure a peaceful and credible election.

An INEC spokesperson who confirmed the meetings also said sensitive materials would be taken from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) yesterday and distributed to the local governments.

It was also learnt that the Deputy Inspector General of Police in charge of Operations, Joshak Habila, was meeting with security agencies on final strategies to ensure a peaceful election.

An INEC chief, Hajia Amina Zakari, has expressed the electoral body’s commitment to ‘assist’ Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) to vote as a way to ensure they are not marginalised.Speaking at a pre-election conference organised by the Centre for Citizen with Disabilities (CCD) and Inclusive Friends Association (IFA) with technical support from the National Democratic Institute (NDI), Zakari said: “We have to provide ‘assistance’ to the persons with disabilities to improve their participation in Nigeria’s political and electoral process.”

Meanwhile, the Ebonyi State Police Command has sent about 500 mobile police officers to Edo State to assist in maintaining law and order during the election.The police officers, The Guardian learnt, left the state in batches. Addressing the security personnel before their departure, the Commissioner of Police, Peace Ibekwe Abdallah charged them to patriotically represent the security organisation and shun acts capable of dragging the name of the police in the mud.

Abdallah reminded them that they were not going to Edo for a jamboree but on a special mission to protect lives and property. “All of you are aware of the situation in the country, so I am charging you all to be of good behaviour and shun any acts capable of destroying the image of the police,” she warned.

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Adams OshiomholeCBNINEC
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