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INEC commits to credible elections in Osun, Ekiti


The Independent National Electoral Commission has again committed to organising credible governorship elections in Osun and Ekiti States this year.

The Chief Press Secretary to the commission’s chairman, Rotimi Oyekanmi, said this in an interview with The PUNCH on Sunday.

Oyekanmi said the various reforms introduced by the commission under the leadership of its chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, would assist in delivering credible governorship elections in the two states.

While INEC fixed June 18, 2022 for Ekiti governorship election, the commission scheduled that of Osun State for July 16, 2022.

Oyekanmi said the commission was committed to strictly following the timetable and schedule of activities released for the two elections last year.

He said, “The commission released the timetable and schedule of activities for the Ekiti and Osun States’ governorship elections in June last year. Just last Monday, our Ekiti State office issued the ‘notice’ for the election in accordance with the timetable.

“There are 14 activities to be undertaken in the timetable up till the date of both elections. The timetable will be religiously implemented by the commission. All registered political parties have been notified and they are expected to comply with the timelines.”

Oyekanmi also said the commission wants the Electoral Act Amendment Bill, which was returned to the National Assembly last December, signed as quickly as possible because of the many reforms it contains.

The PUNCH reported that the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), in a letter to the Senate and the House of Representatives last December, asked the National Assembly to remove the controversial clause on direct primaries from the bill and return the proposed law to him for assent.

Buhari also cited insecurity as one of his reasons for withholding his assent to the bill for the second time.

According to Oyekanmi, inasmuch as the commission wants the bill signed quickly, it will still go ahead and conduct the two governorship elections with or without the bill being signed.

“Clearly, the commission wants the Electoral Amendment Bill signed into law as quickly as possible. But since there is no vacuum at the moment, the commission will still be able to conduct both Ekiti and Osun governorship elections successfully even if the bill is not signed.

“Remember, we have successfully conducted Edo, Ondo and Anambra governorship elections with the subsisting 2010 Electoral Act,” he said.

Citing the reforms introduced by the commission that will aid credible elections, he added, “What is also important is the plethora of reforms that the commission has introduced to improve the electoral system.

“The first one introduced last year was the INEC Result Viewing Portal. The portal makes it possible for the individual polling unit results to be uploaded in real time for all Nigerians to view.

“All you need to do is to create your personal unique username and password on the IReV portal and you can immediately gain access to the polling units election results that would be posted on election day. You can also view all the election results already uploaded there.

“The second one is the INEC Voter Enrolment Device which was unveiled in June last year. It is used for physical registration of voters; and it is used for the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System, which means it can perform both fingerprint and facial authentication on election day.  It was used successfully in the Isoko South 1 State Constituency Bye Election and the Anambra State governorship election last year.

“It also takes the picture of the polling units result sheet and uploads it to the IReV.

“So, with these reforms, and with the support of all stakeholders, the commission will be able to conduct the Ekiti and Osun governorship elections.”

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