Barely three days to the Kogi State governorship election, Chairman of of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof Mahmood Yakubu, has said that the commission will deploy three of its National Commissioners and 11 Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) to monitor the conduct of the election billed for Saturday, November 21.
Professor Yakubu, who disclosed this in Lokoja at a Governorship Election Stakeholders’ Forum, said the deployment was in line with the Commission’s resolve to ensure free, fair transparent and credible election in the state.
According to him, the three national commissioners will be saddled with the duty of monitoring the election in the three senatorial districts of the state namely, Kogi East, West and Central.
He said the commission attaches much importance to the conduct of the Kogi election, especially being the first under his watch, stressing that all necessary arrangements have been put in place to ensure smooth conduct of the poll.
Prof Yakubu noted that the Jega led INEC has raised the bar of the electoral process in the country and that Nigerians expect nothing short of that but rather want improvement in the Kogi and other subsequent elections.
He said all the non-sensitive materials for the election have been deployed across the state while the sensitive materials are already in safe custody of the Central
Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in the state and will be deployed on the eve of election in the presence of all stakeholders.
While assuring of INEC’s neutrality as an electoral umpire in the conduct of the forthcoming election, Prof Mahmood said: “Only people of Kogi can choose who their governor will be and nobody else. Our duty is to deliver free, fair and credible election”.
He restated the commission’s earlier stand on the use of smart card readers and permanent voter cards for the Kogi election, stressing that those without PVCs will not be allowed to vote, just as he called on prospective voters who are yet to collect their PVCs to do so in order not to be disenfranchised.