EMEKA NZE writes that with the assembly of stakeholders in Osogbo final Tuesday and the Peace Accord signed by political events and their candidates on Wednesday, the Unbiased Nationwide Electoral Fee (INEC) appears to be absolutely armed for Saturday’s governorship election in Osun state.
Apart from the conversion of voting factors to polling items performed to broaden voter entry, a transfer which elevated the variety of polling items in Osun from 3010 to 3763, the trace by the Resident Electoral Commissioner, Prof AbdulGaniyu Olayinka Raji that “flash factors have been recognized and techniques mapped out to resolve points that may truncate election course of”, is taken into account as a welcome improvement.
Stakeholders consider it’s an invite to safety businesses, who from the opinion of the Inspector Basic of Police, have deployed over 20, 000 personnel, to focus consideration on these flashpoints with a view to nipping within the bud illegal tendencies through the elections.
The Osun REC went additional to say that “to make sure satisfactory safety and peaceable elections, polling items had been moved away from usually contested locations such because the entrance of homes of politicians, palaces, spiritual centres to public buildings or open areas.”
He mentioned, “As I converse to you, all non-sensitive supplies have been acquired, distributed to the LGAs, sorted and batched to Polling Unit Stage and able to be conveyed to the Registration Space Camps (RACs).
“Any second from now, we anticipate the supply of the delicate supplies. We now have produced maps of all polling items within the state each electronically and hardcopy for ease of motion and site to polling items by the ballot officers, workers of INEC and election
screens, observers and the safety brokers.
He additional mentioned, “polling officers have been adequately skilled and prepared for deployment, safety personnel and different election stakeholders within the state have equally been skilled.
He additionally mentioned that every one “should all be on the identical web page and work
in direction of a typical objective of credible, honest, free and conclusive governorship election.”
Supervising Nationwide Commissioner for Osun state, Prof. Kunle Ajayi, whereas talking in Osogbo assured that below the management of the Hon. Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, INEC is resolute in its dedication to conduct a free, honest, credible, peaceable and inclusive election come Saturday sixteenth of July, 2022.
Though he known as on folks of Osun state to come back out en-masse, conduct themselves peacefully and train their franchise, his biggest fear is the problem of vote shopping for.
Vote shopping for, the unlawful development
“I might additionally like to tell the voters that vote-buying is towards the legislation, and any physique discovered participating in such an act, can be made to face the complete extent of the legislation. Subsequently, we should all work in unison to place an finish to this act, as a way to defend the sanctity of our democracy.
“It’s due to this fact, essential that contributors at this stakeholders assembly ought to please take these appeals to their varied domains and please have interaction and contribute resolutely to this essential assembly, in order that the fee can get first hand suggestions from you all and use it to additional excellent our resolve to making sure a free, honest, credible, peaceable and inclusive election for the nice folks of Osun state.”
Harping on the development of vote shopping for, INEC chairman, Prof Mahmood Yakubu mentioned: “I can not conclude my remarks with out addressing a matter of significant concern to our elections. Right here, I’m referring to sundry violations of our electoral legislation, together with the diabolical apply of vote shopping for by which voters are financially induced to vote a method or one other.
“It’s apparent that the extra the fee and different stakeholders work arduous to progressively enhance the standard of nationwide elections in Nigeria, the extra some retrogressive parts attempt to undermine the progress made.
As a manner out, he mentioned “safety and anti-corruption businesses would proceed to confront this problem, whereas the “effort might be given a lift by the institution of the Electoral Offences Fee and Tribunal as really helpful by the Uwais Committee in 2009, bolstered by the Lemu Committee in 2011 and the Nnamani Committee in 2017.”
To the INEC boss, due to this fact, it’s heartening that “the Electoral Offences Fee and Tribunal Invoice is into consideration of the Nationwide Meeting. INEC helps this initiative and appeals to the Nationwide Meeting for a speedy conclusion and passage of the Invoice into legislation.”
The INEC chairman responded to the Osun stakeholders in two essential areas particularly, first, the transparency, inclusivity and credibility of the election; and, secondly, its safety and peaceable conduct.
He, due to this fact, mentioned the fee was taking each points very significantly.
“For us in INEC, let me reassure political events, candidates and the voters that the selection of who turns into the following Governor of Osun State is fully within the fingers of voters.
Concrete steps to elections’ credibility
“As I’ve repeatedly mentioned in earlier engagements with stakeholders, INEC won’t take any motion to the benefit or drawback of any political occasion or candidate. Our focus is on the processes and procedures as offered by legislation.
“Up to now, we have now efficiently applied 12 out of 14 actions contained within the Timetable and Schedule of Actions for the election. The one two excellent actions are the final day of marketing campaign by political events which ends at midnight on Thursday 14th July 2022 and Election Day actions on Saturday sixteenth July 2022.”
He additional mentioned, “the fee has taken each step and made each association for the profitable conduct of the Governorship election this weekend. We held consultative conferences with political events and their candidates.
“We had a number of engagements with the safety businesses at nationwide, State and Native Authorities ranges. We consulted with stakeholders. We searched for, and acquired, the blessings of Royal Fathers and non secular leaders. We now have recruited, skilled and punctiliously screened all classes of ad-hoc workers to be deployed to the sphere. All non-sensitive supplies for the election have been delivered to all our 30 Native Authorities Space workplaces throughout the State.
“Voter schooling and sensitisation is ongoing. We now have made preparations for the transportation of personnel and supplies to make sure that polling items open on schedule on Election Day. For a simpler supervision of the method, we’re deploying 5 Nationwide Commissioners, twelve Resident Electoral Commissioners and lots of senior officers to help our State workplace right here in Osun to ship credible elections.
Distribution of PVCs
“Voter registration was carried out everywhere in the State, together with the devolution of the train to the 332 Wards throughout the state. We now have printed and delivered the Everlasting Voters’ Playing cards (PVCs) for assortment by all legitimate registrants within the state.
“Once we visited Osun final week to evaluate our readiness for the election, considerations had been expressed in regards to the availability of the PVCs particularly for many who utilized for switch of their registration to Osun State or to new places throughout the State. I’m glad to report that we have now delivered the PVCs for contemporary registrants, transfers and requests for substitute of playing cards because of loss, harm or incorrect private particulars reminiscent of names, dates of delivery and many others. as offered by legislation.
“Moreover, in our effort to make sure that extra voters gather their PVCs earlier than the election, the Fee took the next further measures with impact from Thursday final week:
“Devolved the gathering of PVCs from our 30 Native Authorities workplaces to every of the 332 Wards throughout the State, thereby growing the variety of assortment centres and bringing the method nearer to voters;
“Working all days of the week, together with the weekend and public holidays to serve voters;
“Extending the final date for the gathering of PVCs to Thursday14th July 2022 i.e. 24 hours to the election.”
Yakubu appealed to all registered voters which are but to gather their PVCs to grab the chance of the extra measures to take action.
“Lots of the PVCs have already been collected by residents. Of the 1,955,657 registered voters in Osun State, 1,479,595 (or 76%) have collected their playing cards as at Sunday tenth July 2022. We’re additionally updating our data to supply detailed breakdown of PVCs collected by polling items.
“This might be concluded and made accessible on Friday fifteenth July 2022. That is vital as a result of the overall variety of PVCs collected might be used to find out the margin of lead precept, as towards the overall variety of registered voters consistent with our Rules and Pointers for the Conduct of Elections 2022 derived from the provisions of the Electoral Act 2022.
Individuals Dwelling with Disabilities
To underscore our dedication to an inclusive, credible and clear electoral course of, the Fee is deploying assistive gadgets for Individuals with Disabilities (PwDs) to have a extra nice voting expertise on Election Day. Magnifying glasses, Braille Poll Information and Posters for voters with arduous of listening to situations might be deployed at polling unit degree in areas of want primarily based on information collected in collaboration with the PwD neighborhood.
“Equally, our revised Rules and Pointers present for precedence to be accorded at polling items to PwDs with out ready in lengthy queues throughout voting as is the case with aged folks, pregnant ladies and nursing moms. Past these measures, we additionally wish to make PwDs to get extra concerned in election administration like everybody else.
“On this regard, the 2022 Osun state governorship election may also make historical past, being the primary election by which INEC is deploying PwDs as advert hoc workers. Thirty-five (35) serving NYSC members with one type of incapacity or one other have been recognized, skilled and engaged as advert hoc workers at polling unit degree.
“I enchantment to all stakeholders to cooperate with, and defend them, in addition to all different advert hoc workers, in our effort to make our electoral course of extra inclusive and participatory.
Deployment of expertise
“The fee continues to deploy expertise within the electoral course of each as a matter of apply and a requirement of the legislation. The Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) might be deployed for voter accreditation and importing of election outcomes on the INEC Consequence Viewing (IReV) portal on Election Day.
“Steps have been taken to make sure that the BVAS machines operate optimally throughout voter accreditation primarily based on classes learnt from the conduct of latest elections. A couple of weeks in the past, mock accreditation train was carried out in polling items throughout the State.
“I personally noticed the train in Osogbo and Boripe LGAs in Osun Central in addition to Ede South and Egbedore LGAs in Osun West Senatorial Districts. I additionally visited our Ife Central, Ife East and Ife North LGA workplaces in Osun East Senatorial District.
“We’re inspired by the profitable end result of the mock train and the extent of preparations by our workplaces. We now have additionally skilled sufficient Registration Space Technical Help Employees (RATECHs) and made satisfactory transportation preparations for his or her fast response within the occasion of reported glitches on Election Day.
“The fee has accredited polling brokers nominated by political events for the three,763 polling items, 332 ward collation centres, 30 Native Authorities Space collation centres and the state collation centre the place the ultimate declaration of end result might be made.
“As a sign of the extraordinary nationwide and worldwide curiosity within the 2022 Osun state governorship election, 87 observer teams (79 home and eight worldwide) deploying a complete of seven,790 subject observers have been accredited for the election. Equally, 94 media organisations (92 nationwide and a pair of worldwide) deploying 624 journalists have been accredited to cowl the election.
“On election day, the nationwide headquarters of INEC in Abuja will monitor the election all through the State. Our Zoom Scenario Room might be activated. We’re working to make sure that accredited observers and the media are invited to hitch us at intervals to supply reside studies from the sphere.
“On the identical time, residents can contact us on our varied platforms such because the toll-free INEC Residents Contact Centre (ICCC) phone line along with our Twitter, Fb and Instagram accounts”.