Edo/Ondo Elections: INEC Is Interested In A Leveled Playing Field
The Chief Press Secretary of the Commission, Mr. Rotimi Oyekanmi, said this on Monday during a webinar entitled: ‘Edo/Ondo Elections: The imperative of Safety Consciousness and Conflict Sensitivity in Media Coverage and Reportage” organised by the International Press Centre (IPC) and Association of Communication Scholars and Professionals of Nigeria (ACSPN).
Oyekanmi, however, assured Nigerians that the commission would provide a level playing field for all in the forthcoming elections.
According to him, INEC is interested in the credibility of the process.
Oyekanmi said, “It is the duty of INEC to provide a level playing field, we are not interested in the outcome of the elections but the credibility of the process, to ensure that materials get to the polling unit in good time.”
Speaking on the threats to the elections, he said, “As we approach the Edo Governorship election, it is clear that the good people of the state and Nigerians as a whole are very concerned about what will happen on election day.
“We have all been hearing the loud drumbeats of war from political actors. There have been accusations and counter accusations. Just like everybody else, the Commission is deeply concerned.”
He assured that regardless of the threats and utterances, INEC would conduct a credible and fair contest.
He also assured journalists of their safety unlike previous experiences particularly with security agents.
“To be sure, INEC is ready for the election. Indeed, we are determined to conduct the election despite the current difficult circumstances.
“To that extent, regardless of the not-so-pleasant experiences Journalists might have experienced with security agents during elections in the past, they are rest assured of a good experience this time round,” he said.
He added, “Out of the 14 activities listed in the timetable that we released in February, we have carried out 12. The only two left are the deadline for campaigns –17th September and the election proper slated for 19th September.
“All the logistics needed for the election have been taken care of. The non-sensitive materials have been delivered to the 18 local government areas of the state.
“Our Electoral Officers, their Assistants and Supervisory Presiding Officers have been trained. Officers nominated by the various security agencies under the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES) have also been trained and their actions will be guided by the Code of Conduct and Rules of Engagement for Security Personnel on Electoral Duty.”