INEC pledges credible, conclusive polls in Osun
Identifies vote-buying as challenge confronting nation’s electoral processes
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), yesterday, said that the Osun State governorship election would be transparent, free, fair and conclusive.
Chairman of the commission, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, who gave the assurance at a stakeholders’ meeting in Osogbo, identified vote-buying as the only difficult challenge confronting the nation’s electoral processes and expressed optimism that the Electoral Offences Commission and Tribunal Bill, which is currently under consideration at the National Assembly, would combat the illegal practice.
Yakubu, therefore, appealed to the National Assembly to speedily conclude and pass the bill into law.
He said Osun State election would beat the Ekiti record.
The INEC boss, while addressing the stakeholders, including gubernatorial candidates and leaders of political parties, Ooni of Ife, Oba Enitan Ogunwusi and other traditional rulers, top security echelon, among others, lamented that some “retrogressive elements” were hampering the efforts of the commission through inducements and vote-buying.
He said the election would not be inconclusive like what was witnessed in 2018, saying: “I wish to reassure you that the commission has taken every step to ensure that the Osun election is free, fair, transparent, credible and conclusive.”
He said that of the 1,955,657 registered voters in Osun State, 1,479,595 (or 76%) had collected their cards as of Sunday, July 10, 2022.
The INEC chairman disclosed that to make the electoral process more inclusive and participatory, 35 serving National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members with one form of disability or another had been identified, trained and engaged as ad-hoc members of staff at polling unit level and appealed to all stakeholders to co-operate and protect them, as well as all other ad-hoc officials.
Also speaking, Osun State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Prof. Abdulganiy Raji, said that non-sensitive materials had already been taken to the polling unit level and ready to be conveyed to the Registration Area Centres (RACs) for the conduct of the election.
Raji said that sensitive materials would arrive in Osun State on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, the IGP, Mr. Usman Alkali Baba, disclosed that 21,000 police personnel would be deployed for the election to adequately protect both human and materials during and after the election.
He gave the assurance that the police would leave no stone unturned to ensure free, fair and credible election in Osun.
In his remarks, Oba Ogunwusi urged all governorship candidates to allow peace and avoid being desperate for power.