….as WTV pays Advocacy visit to INEC, Police

The Ekiti state Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Prof Abdul-Ganiyu Olayinka has said he is excited over YIAGA Africa’s WatchingTheVote (WTV) plan to deploy technology to observe the upcoming Ekiti State Governorship Elections. The REC lauded YIAGA Africa’s WTV electoral reform effort, saying the information and data provided by the project is very useful to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).  The REC said this when he received the WTV team in his office at Ado-Ekiti as he declared his excitement towards the project’s plan to deploy observers technology.

According to Prof Olayinka, YIAGA Africa is a formidable Organisation that strengthens democracy thus the commission will continue to welcome support and partnership on voter education and electoral transparency to correct the mindset of citizens while also building the confidence of electorates going into the elections.

While hoping that YIAGA Africa’s WTV deploys observers to flash points, the REC stressed that WTV deploy competent personnel who have passion for democracy while warning observers about the implication of manipulating data.

Speaking on the Commission’s preparation for the July 14, Governorship Elections in Ekiti state, the REC stated that INEC has launched a citizen voter education program that YIAGA Africa can be part of. He also revealed that, the commission has stepped down Voter Education Town hall meetings to all 16 Local Government Areas in the state. So far 520,000 Permanent Voters Card have been collected by citizens ahead of the election according to the REC.

He also said, INEC will make use of E-collation for the Ekiti election as it had done internet analysis of all the Polling Units in order to identify the best Internet Service Providers for each Polling Unit. According to Prof Olayinka, INEC will also set up and Election Operation Support Centre to monitor and track Election Day procedure to mitigate violence saying INEC’s Election Risk Management desk have identified flashpoints.

The Advocacy meeting was also joined by critical INEC officials like head of Election Party Monitoring, Head of Voter Education, and also key officials from Gender and also Information Communication Technology department.

Police Assures Security of Ekiti Polls

The Nigerian Police force has assured maximum security ahead of the upcoming Governorship Elections in Ekiti state. This was revealed by the Police Public Relations Officer, Caleb Ikechukwu, while receiving YIAGA Africa’s Election observation team in Ado- Ekiti. The PPRO revealed that the Police force will deploy at over 6,000 unarmed Police officers to secure electoral materials, personnel and citizens for the July 14th Governorship Election in the state.

According to Mr Ikechukwu, the Nigerian Police will also deploy 25 tactical units of 63 mobile officers who will be armed at 100m from each Polling Units to protect voters and ensure law and order during elections. He said, there will also be patrol teams with vehicles and also aerial surveillance as he declared that the preparedness if for Pre, during and post the governorship elections in the state.

Mr Ikechukwu urged young people to eschew violence and not allow themselves to be used by politician saying no citizens is expected to be seen with light or heavy weapon. He urged Nigerians to report to the Police if they have any information that will help protect the citizens.