The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it identified 270 flashpoints among polling units in Ondo state.
In an interview with The PUNCH, Festus Okoye, INEC national commissioner and chairman of the information and voter education committee, said the identified flashpoints are situated in 62 creeks in the riverine areas of Ese-Odo and Ilaje local government areas of the state.
Okoye said the commission will, however, deploy security agents to help prevent the menace of rigging and electoral violence in those areas.
“The police, navy and other security agencies have been mandated to engage in clearance operation and flush out groups and individuals that threaten the peace of the state and the electoral process especially in the creeks and other black spots,” he said.
“More than 270 of our polling units are in the riverine areas of Ese-Odo and Ilaje local governments, with over 62 creeks, and we are in touch with the Nigerian navy and the marine police for the purpose of protecting and escorting our personnel and materials to these difficult terrains.
“The security agencies will carry out mop up operations, deploy adequate platforms and conduct massive show of force, especially in identified flashpoints. We will continue to appeal to the political parties and the candidates to eschew violence.”
He also said section 29 (3) of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended) gives the commission the power to request the assistance of any section of the armed forces for the delivery and protection of its staff and materials during elections.
“We shall therefore request for the assistance of the navy for escort in the riverine areas, and the army will block the entrance and exit out of Ondo state on election day,” he said.
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