Ahead of the September 19, gubernatorial election that is slated for Edo state, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has yesterday expressed its readiness for the upcoming poll and has pledged to conduct a free, fair, and credible election in the state. Dr. Johnson Sinikiem, the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC)of INEC in the state stated this during a stakeholder meeting in Benin which was graced by various heads of security agencies in the state, election observer groups, traditional institutions, 14 participation political parties, religious leaders and media.
Addressing the gathering, the REC said the meeting being last in the series of meetings conducted to fine-tune the electoral process was convened to iron out gray areas for the preparation of the election.
He informed the gathering that on some of the achievements he placed on the ground to facilitate the smooth conduct of the poll exercise.
His statement which partly reads: “We monitored the primaries of the 15 political parties, out of which 14 submitted the names of candidates to the commission by the expiration of the deadline,”
He continued, “We have received all non-sensitive materials, and have trained the various categories of staff for the election. And “We have given out Voters’ register to the 14 political parties as mandated in Section 20 of the 2010 Electoral Act, as Amended.
According to him, they have already configured all the smart card readers that were sent to them by the INEC headquarters.
Meanwhile, concerning transportation, he said his office has entered into an agreement with the national union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) and the Union of transport Owners for making a provision for the transport systems.
He further disclosed that they have received Personal protective equipment (PPE) and an Adhoc staff for the COVID-19.
He concluded that with all this, “With barely 5 days to the election, please permit me to say that we are ready for the election. “We are just waiting for the receipt of sensitive materials this week, and then the election goes on as scheduled.”