‘Seun Ibukun-Oni, Abuja
DAILY COURIER – The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has also moved 12 Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) and five National Commissioners to the state for the exercise.
Speaking during stakeholders’ meeting organised by INEC and attended by governorship candidates and representatives of political parties, traditional rulers and senior security operatives, INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, said the commission is ready for the election.
Yakubu reassured political parties that it will remain neutral and that only the electorate will determine who wins the Saturday’s election.
He said the commission has learnt lessons from the identified issues in the conduct of the 2018 governorship election in the state.
“With every election, we learn lessons and every subsequent election there is improvement on the previous election. Yes we agree that there were issues in the Osun governorship election in 2018, but we have learnt lessons from that election and that’s why this time around we are deploying five National Commissioners and 12 RECs to support the process being handled by our state office. So we have learnt lessons and you’re going to see much improved process in 2022.
“For us in INEC, let me reassure political parties, candidates and the electorate that the choice of who becomes the next governor of Osun State is entirely in the hands of voters.
“As I have repeatedly said in previous engagements with stakeholders, INEC will not take any action to the advantage or disadvantage of any political party or candidate. Our focus is on the processes and procedures as provided by law,” Yakubu said.
He also said that INEC has so far successfully implemented 12 out of 14 activities contained in the Timetable and Schedule of Activities for the election.
He said that the only two outstanding activities are the last day of campaign by political parties which ends at midnight on Thursday 14th July and Election Day activities on Saturday 16th July.
The INEC boss said that election is significant in many respects, not least because it is also the last major off-cycle election before the 2023 General Election, which is 227 days or seven months and five days away.
He assured that that INEC will not take any action to the advantage or disadvantage of any political party or candidate.
He also said that of the 1,955,657 registered voters in Osun State, 1,479,595 (or 76%) have collected their cards as at Sunday 10th July and that the commission is updating its records to provide detailed breakdown of PVCs collected by polling units, which would be concluded and made available on Friday 15th July.
He said, “This is important because the total number of PVCs collected will be used to determine the margin of lead principle, as against the total number of registered voters in line with our Regulations and Guidelines for the Conduct of Elections 2022 derived from the provisions of the Electoral Act 2022.”