Ahead of the Edo state gubernatorial elections in Nigeria coming up on Saturday, September 19, 2020, the Independent National Electoral Commission and the Nigeria Police on Monday met with stakeholders in Benin City, the state capital.
The meeting which also had
the candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and incumbent Governor, Godwin Obaseki, and his deputy, Philip Shuaibu in attendance, was held as part preparations to ensure a smooth and credible process at the polls to hold this week’s Saturday.
The INEC boss said the commission has met 12 of the necessary steps for the smooth conduct of the election and pledged that every vote cast at the polls will be counted, adding that sensitive materials including card readers would be deployed as scheduled.
Yakubu said that the face recognition feature of the ZPad will not be utilised for this election. “We envisage that there will be a high traffic of persons interested in viewing the results in real time. Consequently, the Commission has dynamically expanded the result viewing portal to accommodate almost two million viewers at the same time without clogging. To view the uploaded results, please visit our website (www.inecelectionresults.com) to register and create an account”, he revealed.
The INEC boss who has always assured that INEC is mostly concerned about the credibility of the electoral process than the outcome, beckoned on participating political parties to play by the rules especially at this time that the elections are coming up amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I wish to reassure you that votes will count and only the choice made by the people of Edo State will determine the winner. Polling unit level results will be uploaded for public view. However, this will not happen where the process is disrupted by violence or malpractices. The Commission is determined that no one will benefit from impunity or rewarded for bad behaviour such as vote-buying, ballot box snatching and stuffing, multiple voting, hijacking and diversion of election materials, disruption of collation, falsification of results, attack on INEC officials or compelling them to declare unofficial results. The people of Edo State must be allowed to freely vote for their preferred candidate without inducement or harassment. We have been assured by the security agencies that thugs and their sponsors will not have the freedom to move around freely to disrupt the election or collation of results.
“Our ultimate objective is to ensure that the choice of who becomes the next Governor of Edo State is entirely in the hands of the voters. I wish to reassure you that votes will count and only the choice made by the people of Edo State will determine the outcome of the election. The Commission shall not take any action to the advantage or disadvantage of any political party or candidate. Our focus is on our processes and procedures. Nothing more”, The INEC boss said.
He added that on the Election Day, the national headquarters of INEC will monitor the election throughout Edo State. Our Zoom Situation Room will receive live reports from the field. Accredited observers and the media will also be invited to join at intervals. By doing so, the Commission will receive first-hand information as the election is going on. At the same time, citizens can contact us on our various platforms such as the toll-free INEC Citizens Contact Centre (ICCC) telephone line in addition to our Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts.