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Dec. 5th Bye-Elections : We Will Do Our Best To Prevent Vote-Buying- INEC National Commissioner

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Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) National Commissioner in Charge of Southwest, Dr Adekunle Ogunmola, on Friday, said the electoral body would do its best in preventing vote buying at polling units across the various constituencies where elections would be held tomorrow ( Saturday).

Ogunmola made this known at a press conference held at INEC office in Lagos, while fielding questions from the media.

He said the electoral body was in collaboration with Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC), Economic Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) and security agencies to ensure that perpetrators of vote-buying are punished, stating that the electoral umpire would prevent the use of mobile phone by voters to snap their ballot papers.

The INEC National Commissioner said that COVID-19 pandemic would not deter the electoral body from recording success in the conduct of the elections, saying that all preventive guidelines would be strictly followed at polling units.

“INEC is in collaboration with ICPC and EFCC to ensure that people that perpetuate such act are brought to book. We will prevent the use of mobile phone at polling unit like we did in Edo and Ondo. What we are talking about is vote buying at polling units. We will do our best to prevent vote-buying tomorrow “, said Ogunmola.

He added ” We have had elections in the past during this covid 19 period and we have been able to record success. A bar has been set and it is the intention of INEC not to go below the bar, that is why we are engaging with all the stakeholders. This election will be recorded as the best so far in the history of elections in Nigeria. In Akure, we told them that Edo has set a standard and that we cannot afford to go below it, and we were able to go higher than the bar in Ondo election. In Lagos, we will record success as well. We will ensure social distancing is maintained at polls tomorrow. We will also be against mass face masks in which a group of people put on same type of face mask. This act is believed to be used to perpetrate some irregularities”

” We are also engaging with the security agencies to ensure free,fair and credible elections tomorrow. If we get elections right, alot of things will be better. I want to assure you that we are fully prepared for tomorrow’s election”, said Ogunmola.

Earlier, the Resident Electoral Commission in Lagos, Mr Sam Olumekun, said that 1,343,448 registered voters are expected to participate in the electoral process in Lagos East Senatorial District while 280,363 registered voters are expected to vote in Kosofe Constituency 2.

Olumekun added that voting would occur in 1978 polling units of Lagos East while voting would as well occur in 397 polling units of Kosofe Constituency 2.

He said “We appreciate the media for the warm relationship we have enjoyed over the years especially during the 2019 general elections. We appreciate your contributions for disseminating information concerning our activities. Regrettably, we lost members of the National Assembly and State House of Assembly who were elected to represent Lagos East Senatorial District and Kosofe state Constituency 2 in Lagos state.

” That is why we are preparing for Bye-elections to fill these vacant positions. It will be pertinent to inform you about the delimitation of the constituencies.

” The Lagos East Senatorial District has 5 local governments, 1978 polling units, 71 registration centres. It has the total number of 1,343,448 voters.

” Kosofe Constituency 2 has 397 polling units, 280,363 registered voters. We have recruited adhoc staff who will work in the various constituencies. We have a total number of 1956 polling officers, 6,348 Assistant Polling Officers, 193 Supervisors, 77 Collation Officers and number of Collation Officers is 84 while there are 2 Returning Officers for the constituencies.

” Our office in Somolu will serve as Collation Centre for Lagos East Senatorial District and for Kosofe state Constituency, Comprehensive High School, Alapere.

” It is also pertinent to inform you that for the total of the 5 local governments, 1,168,790 PVCs collected. We hope that they would turn out to exercise their franchise. Democracy is a game of number, anybody who does not come to vote for the candidate of his/her choice should not blame anybody.

” It is important to draw your attention to the fact that there is Covid-19 in town and so we are conducting this election under strict adherence to the guidelines of the Covid-19. There will be social distancing, we will expect each and everyone to wear face mask at polling units”, said Olumekun.

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