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On Tuesday, the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, and the Inspector General of Police, Usman Baba, assured the Ekiti electorate that necessary arrangements had been put in place to ensure transparency and security on Saturday’s governorship election in the state.

While Yakubu reassured the Ekiti people that the decision of who would become the next governor of the state would be that of the electorate through their votes, Baba said necessary security deployment had been made so that people could cast their votes without fear of molestation and that the votes would count.

The INEC chairman and the police chief spoke in Ado Ekiti, the state’s capital, during the Election Stakeholders’ Meeting on Ekiti State Governorship Election attended by party leaders and candidates of participating parties, security agencies, and civil society organizations.

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The INEC boss assures political parties and voters that the task of electing a new governor will be left in the hands of Ekiti voters and that INEC won’t take any action to the advantage or disadvantage of any particular party or candidate, he added that INEC will do everything according to the constitution and provisions of the Electoral Act.

Yakubu said that four INEC national commissioners and eight Resident Electoral Commissioners had been deployed to ensure the conduct of a credible election, adding that 76 per cent of the 988,923 registered voters in the state had collected their Permanent Voter Cards as of Monday and that they still had the opportunity to obtain the PVCs till Thursday.

The INEC chief described vote-buying as a threat to the nation’s democracy, and reveal that INEC is determined to stop the menace, saying that INEC has changed the configuration of the ballot boxes in all polling units to prevent vote-buying.

INEC’s Resident Electoral Commissioner, Ekiti State, Dr Adeniran Tella, said that pregnant women, people living with disabilities, and the aged, would be given priority to vote on Election Day.

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The IGP, who assured of adequate security before and after the election, disclosed that different security agencies including the military had deployed personnel for the Ekiti election, not to intimidate law-abiding citizens, but to ensure a hitch-free exercise.

He said that the 177 wards and 2,445 polling units would be manned by appropriate manpower.

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