Ondo Poll: INEC pledges professionalism, neutrality

Ahead of October 10 governorship election in Ondo state, Chairman Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Prof. Yakubu Mahmood has assured Nigerians that the commission would remain neutral and professional in the conduct of the gubernatorial election.

The INEC chairman also stated that sensitive materials for Ondo state governorship election will arrive Akure on Oct. 5.

He said the commission would work on the lapses observed in Edo state election with a view to improving on its performance in the coming poll.

Mahmood said this in Akure during interactive session with newsmen on the October 10, 2020 poll.

We have delivered all, but a few of the non-sensitive materials required for the elections. What remains can be accomplished within the days remaining to the polling.

“It is exactly 16 days to the election. If we exclude the election day, which is Oct 10, we have 15 days. So, we have two weeks and a day to the election.

“The sensitive materials for the election are ready. The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) will deliver them to their branch here in Akure on Monday, Oct. 5,’’ Yakubu said.

He said that the commission had moved enough card readers to Ondo State for the conduct of the election, adding that they were being configured and charged in Akure.

Yakubu said that the Z-pad used in Edo for the transmission of Polling Units (PUs) results to the commission result view portal would be deployed to Ondo State.

Explaining that the interaction was important because the commission wanted to know about the observations of the stakeholders both in Edo election and the pre-election happenings in Ondo state that could help the commission in its preparation and making further perfection for the October 10,election.

Mahmood disclosed that the commission has delivered all non sensitive materials for the election, while the all sensitive materials would arrive at Central Bank of Nigeria in Akure on Monday where it would be distributed to all its branches.

He assured that all the 3009 polling units in the state, including the riverine area, would be adequately supplied with all necessary election materials and voting would commence at the appropriate time.

The professor also assured the people of the state that the commission had got over the challenges created by the fire outbreak that razed over 5000 smart card readers in the Akure office.

“We have fully recovered from the fire incident. We are purging and configuring the smart card readers ready for the election. They were moped up from Oyo state.

“We are moving the Z-Pad from Edo to Ondo State for the 3009 polling units,” the INEC boss said.

While speaking on the spate of political violence in the state, Prof. Mammud disclosed that the commission would meet security agencies and traditional rulers with view to stemming the crisis.

Mahmood said, : “We are aware of violence. We are meeting security agencies and traditional rulers and relevant stakeholders, appeal to participating candidates and party leaders need to allow peace reign before, during and after the election.

He adding that the”former Head of State, Abdulsalami Abubakar and other members of National Peace  Committee  would arrive Akure on October 6, 2020 to sign oeace accord with all candidates.”

The INEC boss, therefore, charged all journalists covering the election to report to the commission any malpractice noticed through its media platform and allow professionalism in the conduct and discharging their duties during the poll.

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