*Bans use of cell phones, others at polling units
The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, has assured Nigerians and political stakeholders that the Osun State September 22 governorship election would be rigged by anybody.
Also, the Inspector-General of Police (I-G), Mr. Ibrahim Idris, has said that enough policemen would be on ground to support INEC and the electorate to freely cast their votes during the poll.
They spoke on Monday at the “Election Stakeholders’ Forum on the 2018 Governorship Election” organised by INEC in Osogbo, the state capital.
Yakubu said that INEC had improved on its technological innovations to safeguard the integrity and credibility of the election.
He said that the commission would ensure that personnel and election materials arrived promptly at the polling units, the smart card readers functioned optimally and that counting of ballots, collation and declaration of results would be open and transparent.
Yakubu said: “Our ultimate objective is to ensure that the choice of who becomes the next governor of Osun State is entirely in the hands of the voters.
“Votes will count and only the choice made by the people of Osun and nothing else would determine the outcome of the election,” he said.
The INEC boss added that the commission had overcome past challenges associated with election malpractices, stressing that the process could no longer be corrupted, leading to those who want to subvert it turning to the electorate as their target through vote-buying.
The INEC chairman said that the commission had reviewed the administration of the polling units to make it difficult for voters to expose their marked ballot papers to intending vote-buyers.
He said that though people could not be banned from taking their cell phones to the polling units, “it would be difficult for them to take pictures because from the point of accreditation and voting no voter will be allowed to be with his/her cell phones.”
Idris assured the people of adequate security before, during and after the election, saying that constant fora organised by INEC ahead of elections would always help the police in strategising and providing formidable security.
Idris said the police, complemented by other security agents would provide the needed security for the election, adding that 18, 426 police officers would be deployed in Osun for the election. (NAN)