Ahead of July governorship election in Edo, INEC has expressed its readiness to re-strategise to ensure that people’s votes count.
Prof. Lai Olurode, INEC National Commissioner in charge of Training and Research, stated this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Sunday.
He said the electoral body was re-strategising because fillers from various quarters indicated that things were getting charged up in the state and INEC needed to be in control.
“INEC has attained a measure of success in the collation of results, timely delivery of election materials and arrival of poll officials at their polling units.”
He said the commission would create a level-playing field and secure the polling arena in a way that the electorate would not feel intimidated by any party.
Olurode said INEC noticed voter apathy in some of the recent elections because of fear of violence and hijack of ballot boxes.
He said security operatives were cooperating with INEC in its efforts to conduct smooth election in Edo, adding that the electoral body had also put in place an “Inter Agency Committee on Election Security’’.
Olurode said the malpractices observed at some polling units during past elections were inimical to the conduct of free and fair elections.
“We have seen cases where many people are not seen voting at polling units but at the end of the day you see larger votes recorded for the units, and you know that something has gone wrong.”
He said INEC was bent on policing polling units more effectively to make peoples’ votes count.
“People stay away because of the possibility of violence and this is a sign that their vote will not count and INEC will never be part to this, so security of lives and property is of great concern to INEC.”
The national commissioner said that although Nigeria had yet to attained perfection in election matters, the commission was doing all it could to reduce malpractices during polls.
“There is nowhere in the world where the entire election process is flawless, there will have to be some hitches, but the commission is working on this.”
He said the electoral body noticed some imperfection in the activities of ad- hoc staff as some of them were infiltrated by some politicians.
Olurode said that INEC changed its strategy and employed more that 400,000 youths during the last elections and they did far better than the ad-hoc staff.
He said there are other areas that needed to be fine-tuned and INEC was working towards achieving greater success in such areas. (NAN)