INEC assures corpers of safety in Ife by-election

INEC assures corpers of safety in Ife by-election

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The Independent National Electoral Commission has assured the members of the National Youth Service Corps who will be involved in the conduct of the Ife-Central state constituency by-election on Saturday of adequate security.

The Resident Electoral Commissioner for the election, Nasiru Ayilara, gave this assurance while briefing journalists on the preparedness of the electoral body for the poll.

He said movement would be restricted from 8am to 4pm only in the areas where the election would be held.

The seat became vacant following the death of Mr. Oladejo Makinde, who died on December 27, 2015.

Makinde, who was also known as Igwe, was the minority leader of the Osun State House of Assembly and won an election into the House on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party.

Ayilara, who was deployed from Niger State to oversee the by-election holding in just one local government area of Ile-Ife, said the commission had held a meeting with security agencies, adding that he had been assured by security agencies that no form of violence would be allowed during the election.

He said, “We have met with all the security agencies in the state and they have assured the commission of the safety of electoral officials, voters and electoral materials.

“Corps members and other electoral officials will be protected. We don’t want any of our youths to die and we also don’t want anybody, who will be involved in the conduct of the election, to die.”

The REC reiterated that the election would hold in just one local government council even as he said the commission ought not to redeploy him for the election but that it did so because of the historical and political importance of the poll.

Ayilara said that card reader machines would be used for accreditation, adding that accreditation and voting would be done simultaneously.

The REC, who said materials had been inspected, explained that the materials would be moved to the Ife-Central state constituency on Friday.

The representative of the PDP, Mr. Sunday Ademola, while speaking with journalists, expressed satisfaction with the arrangements put in place by the commission.

But the representative of the All Progressives Congress, Mr. Rasaki Adeosun, expressed reservations with the delay in the movement of the election materials.

He said although his party believed that INEC would be fair to all parties but maintained that the materials ought to have been moved immediately after the inspection.

Adeosun said, “It is unconventional that we inspect materials today, leave them at the state secretariat of INEC and then wait till tomorrow for the materials to be moved to the field.

“We have not done this before; the normal practice is to examine the materials and get them loaded into local government vehicles for movement. When something like this happens, one will be suspicious but we still want to believe that INEC will conduct a credible election.”

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