By Rotimi Ojomoyela
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has declared that the era of election rigging is over and the will of the people will count in the June 18 Ekiti State gubernatorial election.
The Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Ekiti State, Dr Adeniran Tella, said this in Ado Ekiti, on Wednesday, during a courtesy call on the office of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Ekiti Council .
The Ekiti State REC said that the commission has put in place measures to stem electoral vices, noting that technological advanced tools have been introduced to ensure that the electorates elect the candidate of their choice.
He also added that INEC have put in place mechanism where these vices can be contained, which in-turn will restore sanity to the electoral process.
In his words, “On June 18 , we are going to conduct election here in Ekiti and it will be credible and transparent. We will give our people the opportunity to choose who will determine their lives. We are going to work with relevant agencies to bring whoever that is trying to forment trouble to book.
“The era has gone when people would just sit somewhere and cooked up figures and say this is what they have seen. It is impossible now. It is the people that will determine who becomes governor in Ekiti and nothing more.
“We have Election Violence Mitigating and Advocacy tools being used now to ascertain where violence could erupt during elections to prevent and curb violence, so that we can protect the sanctity of the electoral system.”
Tella revealed that the electoral body have created additional polling units to ensure that every eligible citizen of the state participate in the process.
He cautioned the various political parties to refrain from utterances or actions that will heat up the polity while pleading with the electorates to avail themselves during the claims and objections exercise.
Tella said ” The commission has created more polling points across units that have registered voters that are more than 750, thereby shoring up the number of units in the state from 2,195 to 2,445.
” We are not going to tolerate any violence or making of incendiary comments by candidates. This election must be peaceful. During the just concluded primaries of parties , one party contravened our guidelines, we didn’t spare it. We applied the law.
” INEC will conduct claims and objections exercise on March 18 for all the candidates that would participate in the poll, so that the people can scrutinise all their claims by being put in the court of public opinion.”
In his response, the NUJ Chairman, Ekiti Council, Comrade Rotimi Ojomoyela, assured the electoral body of her continued support, noting that they have been a major stakeholder in the electoral system.
He enjoined INEC to seek adequate ways of ensuring that quacks and fake news peddlers don’t infiltrate the system during the poll by availing the union the responsibility of accreditation of Journalists.