The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has assured that the July 14 governorship election in Ekiti State and the 2019 general elections will be better than the previous polls conducted by the commission.
The State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Prof. Abdulganiy Raji, said part of what will make Ekiti gubernatorial election a huge success was the fact that Ekiti was ranked the best state in Nigeria in terms peaceful conduct during elections based on the outcome of the 2014 governorship election.
INEC disclosed that the commission may not need deploy large number of security personnel to polling booths in future elections, if the achievements recorded by the commission in conduct of elections, which global community had acknowledged to be largely transparent and credible could be maintained.
The electoral body said this in Ado Ekiti on Saturday during a voter education programme tagged : ‘Vote not Fight’, ‘Election No Be War’ organized by a non-governmental organization under the aegis of New Generation Girls and Women Development Initiative (NIGAWD).
The programme was co-funded by, United Kingdom Agency for International Development(UKAID), United States Agency for International Development(USAID) and Nigeria Democratic
Raji, who was represented by the commission’s Public Relations Officer in Ekiti, Taiwo Gbadegesin said: “the 2015 general elections people said were largely successful will be nothing compared to the elections that will be conducted in Ekiti and 2019.
“During the June 21, 2014 governorship election in Ekiti, there was no case of ballot snatching, no killing and this had made the INEC to rank Ekiti the best in Nigeria. As we speak, Ekiti is leading on INEC records.
“Let me advise Ekiti people and Nigerians to have confidence in us. They should forget the noise that the election will be rigged. No election can be rigged again in Nigeria with the kind of technology we had put in place.
“INEC Chairman, Prof Mahmood Yakubu and our REC are distinguished academics and they have said no pressure can make them rig elections.
“We appeal to our governorship candidates and particularly the youths to be good ambassadors of this state, so we can have a hitch-free
election in Ekiti”, he advised .
The Commissioner of Police, Ekiti Command, Mr Bello Ahmed, who was represented by Area Commander, Ado Ekiti, Mr Segun Chijioke, assured
that his men will be neutral in the provision of security before and during the poll.
Ahmed said: “We have started working by supervising campaigns all over the state. Our work is purely professional and we are saying that we will not be partisan.
“INEC had trained our men in the best way to monitor elections and we shall key into this. We are battle ready to arrest electoral offenders and remove all those things that could serve as stumbling blocks to make this election a success”.
NIGAWD Executive Director, Miss Abimbola Aladejare, revealed that the progamme was targeted at educating the candidates, youths and other stakeholders on the need to refrain from violence before and during the election.
“We told them that their obligation during elections is to vote and not to cause violence or kill. They should vote according to their conscience not by collecting money and sell their future to bad politicians”.