Security challenge is our major concern in Kogi guber poll-INEC

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Emmanuel Olonirhua

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), says one of its major concern in the conduct of the Nov.11 Kogi governorship election is the prevailing security challenge in the  state.

Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, the Chairman, INEC, said this when he visited the Kogi Local Government (LGA) office of the commission, in Kotonkarfe during a visit to the state to monitor mock accreditation in Lokoja on Saturday.

Yakubu said that the commission was working with the security agencies to provide secured environment for peaceful and credible election.

“Wherever you go in Nigeria, you are sure to see two government offices. One is INEC. You will see an INEC office in the LGA headed by an electoral officer, an Electoral Officer (EO). You will also see the police office headed by a Divisional Police Officer (DPO) for the local government.

“So, we are everywhere working together. And I’m happy that we are working together as we prepare for the elections,“ he said.

Yakubu advised the Electoral Officers (EOs) in the state to follow the standard template for logistics deployment at Registration Area Centres (RACs), as well as work with security agencies, for the election to commence in Polling Units (Pus)at 8.30a.m.

“My advice to you is that you have to use the standard template for this election.

“I am glad to hear that all the non-sensitive materials have been received in your local government. And I’m sure it’s the same story in other local governments as well.

“But it’s not only the receipt of the material that is important. You have to batch them so that they go into the box per polling unit.

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“So, on election day, as you move to the super RACs or the RAC centers, you will then move to the polling units,” he said.
Yakubu added: “We are giving our words to Nigerians that we must open polling units at 8.30am on the dot. Therefore, you must activate the RACs. If you don’t activate the RACs we can’t actulise the commencement of the votes at 8.30am.

“You must activate the RACs with security and I am happy that you are working in partnership with them.”
He commended all the INEC staff and security agencies in the state.

Earlier speaking, Mr Hassan Musa, the Electoral Officer, Kogi Local Government Area (LGA) office, Kotonkarfe, said that the preparations for the election was in advance stage.

Musa said that the LG office had already received all the non-sensitive materials for the election and was working with security agencies for a peaceful election.

He said that in the next few weeks the commission would round the RACs centres in the LG to monitor the preparations.

“We have received virtually all the non-sensitive materials for the election and we have successful dispatched them to PUs level and we are good to go. We don’t have any shortfall for now.

“What we are waiting for is sensitive materials. As you know sensitive materials come few days close to the election . More so we are having cordial relationship security agencies and they are doing their best to address places that have security challenges.

“We have received virtually all the non-sensitive materials and we have successfully dispatched them to PU levels. And we are good to go, sir. We don’t have any shortfall for now.

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“What we are waiting for is the sensitive materials, which normally come a few days before the elections,” he said
He added:“Also, we are having a very cordial relationship with the security personnel. We are meeting with them, as you can see. We even hold a brief meeting with them every day and they are doing their best to crop down places that have security challenges.

“We have also met with transportation unions, waiting to sign MoU with them. ”

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Yakubu used the opportunity to plant a tree in the premises of the INEC office for peace election, before proceeding to visit some PUs where mock accreditation was held in Lokoja. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)

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