June 25, 2024

INEC Chairman, Yakubu Promises Credible Election In Edo

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…Holds stakeholders meeting with party leaders, security agencies in Edo

By Simeon OSAJIE

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The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu on Friday, 31st May, 2024 assured party leaders, security agencies in Edo that the outcome of the September 21 governorship election would be a reflection of the people’s choice.

Yakubu who gave this assurance at a stakeholders meeting in Benin City, however, did not yield to the call that the ongoing Continuous Voters Registration (CVR) be extended from the 10 days allocated to it.

The meeting had in attendance leaders of various political parties and heads of various security agencies including the Police, Army, the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC).

Speaking further on the call for extension of the CVR, Yakubu said that daily reports from the exercise showed that majority of those registering were young people mostly students.

“The 2023 election was the most open election in the history of Nigeria, the most with diverse outcome, political parties that were least expected to win elections, won elections because of the proactive actions of the Commission.

“In February, we conducted state assembly elections, APGA won seats in a south-south state and three months after, local government election was conducted the same party did not win a single seat.

“We have deployed technology in every election circle to improve on the previous one. Today, with BIVAS which is no longer the card reader, we are sure that 98 per cent of people who will vote in any election are eligible voters, and must be accredited.

“Nobody can be disenfranchised, that was an improvement in the card reader. We have 98 percent successful accreditation with BIVAS,” he said.

The INEC chairman who assured all parties in the election of a level-playing field during the election, urged them to play the game by the rule, in order to ensure peaceful election in the state.

He, however, condemned the reported shootings during the on-going CVR in Oredo ward 4, Egor and other centres in the state.

Yakubu who said that such shootings were uncalled for noted “it is only the people that have the right to decide who govern them, therefore, their rights must be well protected and they should not be prevented from doing so.”

Earlier the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Dr. Anugbum Onuoha said “This meeting was called because of the happenings especially on security matters.

“Some of the centres have been affected by shootings, like Oredo ward 4, Egor and many other local governments.

“Some of our staff have been affected by these shootings. So, it is important that we interact with these security agencies and see how we can prefer solutions.”

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