Elections: CSO calls for massive turnout, says INEC has enhanced its capacity

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By Stephen Adeleye

A civil society organisation, Connected Development, has urged the electorate across the country to come out en mass and cast their ballots, saying the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) had enhanced its capacity.

The Chief Executive of the organisation, Amb. Hamzat Lawal, gave the advice, while speaking with newsmen after monitoring the sorting and distribution of election materials on Friday in Okene Local Government Area of Kogi.

Lawal noted that he had earlier engaged the Resident Electoral Commissioner of INEC in Kogi, Dr Gabriel Longpet, who gave assurance that everything had been put in place for a hitch free House of Assembly election in the state.

”Engaging the REC and the PRO at the INEC head office in Lokoja, and coming to Okene LGA witnessing the sorting of both sensitive and non sensitive materials, I am really happy that INEC has done above board in preparing ahead of Saturday’s election.

”I am also happy to note that INEC REC said they had conducted a refresher training for its Polling units and Presiding officers.

”The INEC Technician has also given us assurance that they are on ground to fix any issue that may arise from the BVAS.

”I have also witnessed that the BVAS have been charged in preparation for tomorrow’s election.

”What this means is that the capacity of the INEC officers have been enhanced for effective performance,” Lawal said.

According to him, this shows that INEC is rebuilding back the trust and trying to redeem that faith she lost in the previous elections.

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Lawal, an International Election Observer, urged the general public to rise to the occasion in supporting the process.

”Without actively engaging, it means that we are relegating our democracy for a few that will decide our future.

”Now, the ball is in our hands to come out in millions using our PVCs to cast our ballots.

”We should give INEC the benefit of doubt; from what I have seen on the ground, I am pleased and glad that INEC does not only acknowledged the gaps, they are also filling those gaps and responding adequately”.

The INEC Electoral Officer in Okene LGA, Mr Sani Idris Wase, said they were very ready to conduct free, fair credible election saying everything had been put in place.

On her part, the INEC LG Technician, Ms Obadaife Akande, said all the BVAS had been certified okay and ready for use, saying any arising issue during the election would be addressed in real time.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Amb. Lawal had earlier on Friday, donated food items to Muslim community at Idoji Jumu’at Central Mosque, Okene.

The philanthropist said that the donation of food items was part of the humanitarian gesture of his organisation to alleviate the suffering of the poor in the society.

Amb. Lawal enjoined the people to embrace peace, saying without peace there could be no development and prosperity.

”My message to my people today is to take your Permanent Voter’s Cards (PVCs) talk to your neighbour, come out and cast your ballot and remain peaceful,” he said (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)

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Edited by Isaac Aregbesola

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