The Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Ibrahim Idris, and the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahooud Yakubu, have assured Nigerians that the September 22 governorship election would be credible based on efforts put in place.
At a forum on the election organised by INEC on Monday in Osogbo, the commission and police unveiled plan to stop vote buying.
Yakubu, in his address, said the commission had improved on the functionality of its technological innovations to safeguard the integrity and credibility of elections.
According to him, INEC would ensure that personnel and election materials arrive promptly at polling units, the smart card readers function optimally and that counting of ballots, collation and declaration of results would be prompt, open and transparent.
“Our ultimate objective is to ensure that the choice of who becomes the next governor of Osun is entirely in the hands of the voters.
“Votes will count and only the choice made by the people of Osun and nothing else would determine the outcome of the election,” he said.
The INEC boss told the gathering that the commission had overcome past challenges associated with elections malpractices in the country, and as the process of election could no longer be corrupted, those that wanted to subvert it had made the electorate their target through vote-buying.
Yakubu said INEC had reviewed the administration of the polling units to make it difficult for voters to expose their marked ballot papers to intending vote-buyers.
He noted that though people could not be banned from taking their cell phones to the polling units because it would be difficult for them to take pictures and report malpractices to INEC as requested of the people, the electorate, from the point of accreditation and voting, would not be allowed to be with cell phones.
Idris assured the people of adequate security before, during and after the election, saying that constant forum orgainsed by INEC ahead of elections would always help the police in strategising to provide formidable security.
The IGP said the police, complemented by other security agents, would provide the needed security for the election.
“Arrangements have been concluded to deploy over 18,426 police personnel, including conventional and PMF units, intelligence and technical teams to provide security.
“This number excludes the support services to be provided by other security personnel.
Our brother politicians and their supporters are advised to desist from actions that may precipitate violence before, during and after the election.”