By Friday Idachaba
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Tuesday said it was ready for the smooth conduct of Saturday’s governorship election in Kogi and Bayelsa.
INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, said this at a stakeholders meeting in Lokoja.
Yakubu said that 12 out of the 14-point steps for the smooth conduct of the election had been achieved.
“Only four days to the election, how prepared is INEC?
“The short answer is that we are ready. So far, the commission has successfully implemented 12 out of the 14-point plan for the election as required by law. We have just two more activities outstanding.
“The first one is the last day of campaign which is at midnight on Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019. The second is the election day itself which is Saturday, Nov. 16.
“The commission has delivered nonsensitive materials for the election to our office here in Lokoja. The sensitive materials for both the governorship and Kogi West Senatorial re-run elections are ready.
“As usual they are being handled by the Central Bank of Nigeria,” he said.
Yakubu added:“The normal process of inspection and distribution of sensitive materials within the state will be done in the presence of party leaders, security agencies and the media.
“We are combining the governorship election with the court-ordered re-run election for the Kogi West Senatorial District in seven Local Government Areas.”
He urged stakeholders to abide by the slogan, “Election No Be War, Vote Not fight,” saying that he was praying the Almighty God to guide INEC’s efforts towards hitch-free conduct of the election.
Brig.-Gen. Shuaibu Ibrahim, Director-General, National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), pledged that corps members would be apolitical during the poll.
Ibrahim said that corps members had been consistently selfless in serving the country.
He appealed to traditional rulers and other stakeholders to help safeguard corps members on election duties in their various communities, saying they were precious to the nation.
The Obaro of Kabba, Oba Solomon Owoniyi, represented by High Chief Joseph Osagbemi, said democracy was about quality representation to the people and leadership which could only be actualised through credible election.
He said that the traditional institution in the area had held regular meetings in Kabba towards ensuring peace before, during and after the election.
“We want to ensure that democracy is given the right meaning,” he said.