INEC Meets Stakeholders in Ekiti Ahead Of Saturday Elections 

  • Igbo traders, Ado Ekiti market women declare support for APC
  • BY AYODELE ABERE in Ado Ekiti•

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Ekiti State through the Acting Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) who also doubles as the Administrative Secretary (AS); Dr. Muslim Omoleke said it had met with stakeholders in the state prior to the Saturday election.

He also revealed that the total number of Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) so far collected in the state by the eligible voters to be 675,119 while a total of 245,908 Permanent Voters Cards are yet to be collected by the people of the state as the Presidential and National Assembly Elections would be held this Saturday, the 16th of February, 2019.

Dr. Muslim Omoleke made this information known to the people of Ekiti State at the 2019 general elections stakeholder’s meeting held in Ado Ekiti on Monday in preparation for the poll in the state.

He informed the gathering that the Independent National Electoral Commission learning from the mistakes and errors of the past have been able to update and enhanced both the software and hardware components of the smart card readers that will be deployed for the accreditation of voters during the election.

He used the opportunity to equally assure the stakeholder’s in the state present at the meeting that the cases of the malfunctioning and failure of the smart card readers (SCR) experienced in the previous elections has been properly and effectively addressed by the commission and brought to a halt.

“The use of the incident forms will no longer be operational and electorates will not be permitted to enter into the polling unit where cubicles are placed with their mobile phones so as to reduce, discourage and put an end to vote buying and selling in the country’s electoral system.

“As part of the preparation for the 2019 general elections, three (3) copies of the voters register have been printed (2 copies in black and white and 1 copy in coloured).

“The commission has also concluded the training and recruitment of ad-hoc staffs that would be used during the elections. A total number of Nine Thousand, nine hundred and seventy three (9,973) ad-hoc staff will be used for the conduct of the elections in Ekiti State.

“It is also worthy of note that the commission has engaged itself in batching of nearly all the non – sensitive materials brought from the INEC Headquarters in Abuja to the sixteen (16) local government areas in the state and dispatched to all the RACs and polling units across the state”.

Dr. Muslim Omoleke, the Acting REC/Administrative Secretary of the commission in the state announced the total numbers of voting points to be 2,445; a total number of polling units as 24, 495; the overall total numbers of registered voters also as 909, 967; a total of 6,000 NYSC corps members will serve as ad-hoc staffs asides the officials of the Federal Institutions and Establishments in the state.

He advised the political parties’ agents to make themselves available when the commission in the state will be distributing the election materials later in the week before the Saturday election to the appropriate polling units across the state.

The highlights of the stakeholder’s meeting was when the political parties representatives totalling 22 in all were called upon to publicly sign a Peace Accord thereby committing themselves to ensuring that the Saturday election will be violence free and peaceful in the state.

The lists of the political parties present to sign the Peace Accord are: the ADC, ADP, ANN, ASD, DA, APC, DPP, ID, JMPP, KOWA, Labour Party, NAC, NCP, NDLP, PDP, People’s Trust, SDP, YDP, ZLP as well as the officials of the ECOWAS Observers Groups already present in the state ahead of the Saturday election.

The Acting REC/Administrative Secretary said the only thing that is going to be secret in the coming election is the secrecy and the sanctity of the ballots.

He promised that aside the secrecy and sanctity of the ballots system, every other process in the election will be very clear, open, fair, free and transparent to the voters and the members of the public.

The representatives of the Police Commissioner (Mr. Amba Asuquo) in the state, Mr. Samuel Etaifo Erale told the gathering that the security officials to be at the polling units have been increased from two (2) to four (4). Etaifo blamed the problems of vote buying on the politicians and absolved the Nigerian Police Force of such weighty allegations”.

The attendance at the stakeholder’s meeting includes the following: Dr. Muslim Omoleke, the Acting REC and Administrative Secretary of the INEC in Ekiti State who also represents the National Commissioner in charge of Osun/Ekiti/Oyo States, Prince Adedeji Soyebi; the HODs of Operations, ICT, VEP, EPM as well as that of the Legal Departments.

Others include the representatives of the Director of DSS in Ekiti State, Mr. Halilu Musa; the Director of NYSC in Ekiti State; the State Chairman of IPAC in Ekiti State and that of the State Commandant of the NDCDC.

Meanwhile, the Ekiti State Deputy Governor, Otunba Bisi Egbeyemi, on Tuesday stormed the Bisi Market in Ado Ekiti to campaign for President Muhammadu Buhari.

Egbeyemi, during the market campaign, also canvassed support for all the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidates for federal and state legislative seats in the general elections.

The Deputy Governor, who built the market during his tenure as Ado Ekiti Local Government Chairman, said the people of the state, has much to gain if they vote for APC candidates at all levels.

According to a statement by the Special Assistant on Media, Odunayo Ogunmola, former Deputy Governor, Prof. Modupe Adelabu and other party stalwarts joined Egbeyemi at the market outreach.

Egbeyemi particularly called on the Igbo traders to cast their votes for Buhari and APC National Assembly candidates on Saturday at all the polling units in the area.

He also urged the electorate to vote for the APC House of Representatives candidate for Ekiti Central Federal Constituency 1, Mr. Olusola Fatoba; House of Assembly candidate for Ado Constituency 1, Mr. Oluwatoyin Lucas and House of Assembly candidate for Ado Constituency 2, Mrs. Adekemi Famuagun-Balogun.

Egbeyemi described the candidates as loyal, tested, trusted and competent to contribute to making laws that would bring better life to the electorate.

The deputy governor urged all residents of Ogbon Ado and Ogbon Oba areas within the vicinity of the market to troop out end masse and vote APC to continue to enjoy good governance at state and federal levels.

These state number two citizen reiterated his promise that none of the traders would be driven away from the market adding that government would empower them to grow their businesses.

Egbeyemi stressed that although he won his unit and ward at last year’s governorship poll, he was not satisfied with the total number of votes recorded.

Describing general elections as “family vote,” Egbeyemi urged all registered voters, especially the traders to vote overwhelmingly this time around for the APC.

Massive votes for the APC, according to him, would afford the state government to make demands for federal appointments and projects that would be beneficial to the people.

In their responses, Igbo market leader, Chief Agbo Dennis and the head of market women in the area, Chief (Mrs) Ape, promised to ensure an APC victory on election days.

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