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Group assures of free, fair poll


INEC-boxA coalition of Civil Society Groups, the Nigeria Civil Situation Room, (Situation Room), has reiterated its commitment to monitor the Ondo State governorship election painstakingly to prevent irregularities. 

The coalition stated this at a press conference in Akure yesterday, where the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) accredited observers’ group, declared their duties focused on the commission, security agencies and parties’ activities today. 

The groups included: Policy and Legal Advocacy Centre (PLAC), CLEEN Foundation, Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD), Youth Initiative for Advocacy, Growth and Advancement (YIAGA) just to mention a few. 

The convener of the group, Mr. Clement Nwankwo, said “the group will be following every process of the election from deployment of materials and personnel through to commencement of polls, voting, collation and announcement of results. 

“Our general observations will focus on INEC’s preparedness, deployment of security personnel and operations during the election and the conduct of political parties.”

The CSOs listed their concerns to include early distribution and deployment of personnel and materials, timely opening of poll, knowledge of procedures by INEC personnel, voting procedures and the collation process. 

Nwankwo also mentioned that their concerns centre on the activities of the security and political parties, urging candidates and their supporters to conduct themselves in a way does not trigger violence and obstruct the poll. 

“We urge the citizens of Ondo State to go out and peacefully cast their votes in exercise of their constitutional right to be part of the democratic process. 

“It is also important that citizens guard their votes and ensure that they do not participate in the electoral offence of vote buying and avoid selling their votes,” he said. 

The group said internal crisis of political parties should not be allowed to affect the timeline of the election, insisting that the election must not be deferred for any reason. 

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Clement NwankwoINEC

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