By Olawale Ibrahim, Lokoja
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has assured the media practitioners in Kogi State that the Commission is ready to conduct free, fair and credible election on November 16th, 2019.
Consequently, the State Police Command pledged to provide adequate security, before, during and after the governorship election in the state.
The Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Professor James Apam gave the assurance while receiving the Media practitioners who staged a walk for peaceful election in the State.
He said that the commission is set to conduct hitch-free governorship election, organised by Nigeria Union of Journalists in collaboration with Search for Common Ground an International NGO.
Apam explained that before now the INEC has commenced preparations toward having a free and credible election and all is now set for the governorship election in Kogi State.
The REC appealed to the critical stakeholders to challenge INEC by allowing peaceful conduct of the Governorship election, stressing that in as much as INEC is ready to conduct a peaceful election as all critical stakeholders should abide by the rules of the game and then give the commission to perform it constitutional responsibility.
As part of its effort to conduct free, fair and credible election, INEC had trained journalists on fake news and held several seminars, workshops for the stakeholders including Journalists.
In the same vein, the Kogi State Police Commissioner, Hakeem Busari has called on Kogi electorates not to be afraid of coming out en-masse to exercise their voting rights as police is ready to provide adequate security.
Busari who was speaking on Tuesday while receiving participants of media peace day rally organized by the Kogi state council of Nigerian Union of Journalists, NUJ in collaboration with Search for Common Ground, a non-governmental organisation preaching peace.
He explained that with the kind of security arrangement being put in place by the police, there would be no reason to entertain any fear.
He also assured politicians and their supporters of adequate security saying that everyone has been given level playing ground for campaign.
“We have enough personnel,at least 8 policemen and other security agencies ready to collaborate with us on that day to give necessary assurance to the people, “he noted.
According to him “the inspector general of police has provided us with additional police to man the polling station so that everybody will be able to come out and exercise their franchise without any fear of molestation.”
Also, the state resident Electoral Commissioner, Professor Apam assured of the commission’s readiness to conduct a clean election that would be acceptable to all.
According to him, “We are committed to conducting free and clean elections. However, this can only be achieved in an atmosphere of peace,so the youths should not allow themselves to be tools for violence during the election and even after that”.
Earlier, the state Chairman of the National Association of Women Journalists, NAWOJ, Ann Olurinde had on behalf on Kogi journalists, presented a position letter calling on both the police and INEC to ensure that the elections take place free of violence.
Among other demands, Kogi media asked that all officials “be fair to all political parties without any form of bias in the discharge of their responsibilities.”
They also call for prompt arrest and prosecution of all electoral offenders including political actors and elected official