Osun: Jega Promises Free, Credible Election

Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Attahiru Jega

Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Attahiru Jega, said everything humanly possible would be done to ensure, free, fair and credible election in the August 9 gubernatorial election in Osun State.

Jega, who spoke at an “Experience Sharing Dialogue With Media Professionals” in Abuja on Wednesday, also justified the need for effective deployment of security personnel during election, noting that it ensured a violence-free poll in Ekiti State.

Warning politicians involved in the Osun poll to eschew violence and to approach the upcoming election with a positive mindset, Jega said INEC would also adopt the colour-coding method in the ballot papers that would be used in Osun as it was found to,be effective in the Ekiti poll.

He said: “In Ekiti, there was an effective engagement with security agencies. We believe that the mobilisation of security led to a violence-free election Ekiti State despite the post-election complaints.

“In Osun, we will also be up and doing. Though Osun is relatively larger than Ekiti with a voter register of about 1.4 million, we are looking at the size and the complexities and we have factored them in our preparations.

“Contrary to what some persons say about the Ekiti election, we actually did colour-coding of our ballot papers and the procedures were so rigorous that we would be able to detect any fraud. We did it in Ekiti and we will continue to do that because it has eliminated fraudulent activities.

“We will create a level-playing field in Osun and we are cooperating fully with the NYSC and security agencies to ensure a hitch-free election in Osun. My assessment is that everything is on course in Osun State for a free, fair and credible poll. What is left is for the politicians to have a positive mindset towards August 9 and eschew violence.

“We are doing our best,we’ve done our best and we will do our best and also ensure that the 2015 general elections come out successful.”

Describing the Ekiti elections as one of the best in recent times conducted by INEC, Jega said the redeployment of the Resident Electoral Commissioner in Osun State had nothing to do with an indictment of the affected officer but to forestall the raging allegations and counter allegations by politicians in the state.

“We are convinced that the former Resident Electoral Commissioner has done nothing wrong but we have had to take the painful decision to send another person there. Our REC did nothing wrong. We sent another person to Osun to conduct the election to reduce the allegations and counter allegations.

“Ekiti poll was successful because INEC adopted a more-centralised, effective and efficient deployment of materials. We also improved on our consultations and stakeholders engagements which go a long way in establishing trust and confidence.”