The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said that the commission is not under any form of threat in Ekiti state ahead of next Saturday governorship election.
630,000 out of the 913,334 registered voters are expected to elect the next governor of Ekiti state in an election where 35 political parties are contesting.
Ekiti state Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Abdulganiu Raji told newsmen at the end of the 2nd regular quarterly consultative meeting with security agencies under the auspices of the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES) in Abuja that INEC is good to go as far as the Ekiti election is concerned.
He also said that there is no room for rigging in the election given the kind of structure that has been put in place by the commission.
“So far, as we are concerned in Ekiti INEC, personally I don’t have any threat against me, I am comfortable, I did mentioned when we had a meeting last Wednesday that I am among my people, am feeling at home, there is no threat.
“We are good to go in Ekiti state. All my staff, we are all in good mood and we want to thank the people of Ekiti state, so far. Even if there issues at all, it is not with INEC.”
He further stressed that security agencies have always been handling whatever security issues.
On the preparedness of INEC, he said, “As far as INEC Ekiti state is concerned, we are fully ready. In fact if you get to Ekiti state now, apart from the operational works, all our offices are wearing a new look. We have distributed all the non-sensitive materials to all our local government.”
Besides, he said INEC personnel that will be deployed have been trained and ready for deployment.
Abdulganiu also revealed that Monday stakeholders’ meeting will be chaired by the INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu.
“So everything has been put in place in Ekiti state. The only thing left is that we are waiting for is the cooperation of the people of Ekiti state,” he added.
On the insinuation that the election may be rigged, Ekiti REC said that the word rigging should be wiped off from the country’s electoral system.
“I don’t know what you want to rig again with the kind of structure we have put in place in INEC. That is what we have been explaining to the people of Ekiti state.”
He stressed that the process has a full proof against rigging, explaining that the authentication and verification from the voter register, and the smart card readers accreditation transmitted to headquarters of INEC both in Ekiti and National headquarters in Abuja, while the election is going on, will make it impossible for anyone to rig the election.
Also, the Commissioner of Police for Ekiti state, Mr. Bello Ahmed said over 20,000 security personeel will be deployed for the election.
The police force he said will be contributing about 16,000 of the personnel, while other security agencies will make up the remaining number.
On measures put in place, Ahmed said that all the likely false points in the state have been identified and a robust security measure put in place.
He said, “We have done trait analysis, all the flash points, all the individuals involved and everyone that is inimical to peace, not only during the conduct of this election but the entire generality of Ekiti state have been identified and we have put in a robust security arrangement to checkmate them.
“With regards to personnel deployed, on the part of the police, we have over 16,000 that will be involved, and a total of over 20,000 police and other security personnel that will be involved towards this coming election.”