This Day (Lagos)

Nigeria: INEC - Ondo Election Will Be the Best

The Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) for the state, Mr Akin Orebiyi, revealed the preparedness of the commission at a stakeholders' forum attended by representatives of various political parties, security, officials of the commission from the Abuja headquarters and the media.

Orebiyi, who said the commission was commended for the improvement recorded during the July 14 gubernatorial election in Edo State, promised that the commission would perform better in Ondo in terms of logistics, security, personnel and in all aspects.

The REC disclosed that security agencies including police, soldiers, men of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, State Security Services would be coming from not less than 11 states of the federation for the election.

While stating that all attention would be focused on the state because this is the only election that would take place on the day, Orebiyi said the commission would put everybody participating in the exercise on his or her toes to ensure success.

Buttressing the statement of the REC, the Assistant Commissioner of Police in charge of operations in the Ondo State Command of the Nigeria Police (AC Ops), Mr. Mohammed Garba, said not less than four security agents would be at each of the 3,007 polling units that the voting would take place.

Garba said to ensure fairness and neutrality of the officers, Divisional Police Officers (DPOs) would be made to serve in areas other than where they operate and they would not know where they would serve until few hours to the election.

On logistics, the REC said the officials of the commission have identified and toured difficult terrains particularly the riverine areas to take care of peculiarity of each environment.

Barely one month to the election, an Abuja-based survey agency, POLLSTAR yesterday released its second week result on the poll, which indicates that the Peoples Democratic Party candidate, Chief Olusola Oke, is leading with 26 per cent.

The results signed by the Executive Director (Special Project) of the agency, Mr. Obi Benedict Ekene, indicate that the Labour Party candidate, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko followed with 20 per cent while the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) candidate, Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu, came third with 19 per cent.

Ekene, who attached the results of the 2011 Presidential Election primary of the PDP, said the agency exercised the highest level of objectivity in generating and analysing data leading to a factual result which reflects reality on ground.

He said the PDP candidate can be considered a formidable contender in the race to Alagbaka Government House given the massive political machinery at his disposal coupled with his sagacity and the ability to strike accord with the youths across the state.

Reacting to the opinion poll, the state Commissioner for Information, Mr Kayode Akinmade, faulted it, saying that it was concocted by Oke to deceive people and his party in order to obtain funds from them.

According to him, "in October 20, the reality of the candidate that is on ground will be revealed.

"It is very clear that some desperate politicians in a bid to give themselves credibility are misrepresenting the political situation in the state to extort money from people. This is very unfortunate".

He said adequate provision had been made for speedboat and vehicles to convey men and materials on time to the polling units.

The REC said personnel for the election would consist of both the INEC senior officials and adhoc staff that would be recruited among the serving National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members and senior officials of the Federal Ministries, Department and Agencies.

Orebiyi advised politicians not to resort to rumour peddling but should feel free and contact the commission for clarification on issues bothering their minds on the election stating that INEC has nothing to gain in backing any politician or party against the other.

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