Despite fears that the October 10, 2020 governorship election in Ondo State may experience some hitches, especially on violence, European Centre for Electoral Support (ECES) has assured that there is no cause for alarm.
ECES, a European Union sponsored group, which has been partnering with Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and others stakeholders for successful elections in the country, added that the election will record low violence.
Aside working assiduously to achieve a vuolence-free election, it also pointed out that voter apathy and low turnout, which hitherto marred elections in recent time, would be reduced to barest minimum.
The ECES Senior Project Officer, Mr. Sylvestre Somo, affirmed this while speaking with The Guardian yesterday in Akure, diffusing all fearful concerns that could mar the election. Somo revealed that ECES had organized series of meetings and workshops with critical stakeholders, amongst which was a recent training of community voter education providers across the 18 councils of the state.
According to him, the training, in conjunction with INEC, is aimed at building the capacity of community voter education providers for effective delivery of voter enlightenment campaigns in the grassroots.
“Voter education means providing to the electorate of a democracy with basic information (sensitise) about how important participating in elections.”
He noted that their task is “to assist INEC in its task of delivering a free, fair, inclusive, efficient and cost-effective election, strengthening democratic values by increasing voter education and the tour-out.”
Similarly, the state INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner, Rufus Akeju, stated that the commission is ready to conduct free; fair and credible poll in the state, adding that there is also ample sensitisation on the COVID-19 protocols for the election.
While the INEC National Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, during a three-day visit to Ondo State recently in preparation for the poll, noted that the commission would surpass the success recorded in Edo State’s governorship election.
Yakubu expressed the commission’s readiness to conduct a credible, free and fair election in the state, adding that all the smart card readers lost in the Akure inferno had been replaced from Oyo State. He revealed that the National Peace Committee would be in the state this Tuesday to commit all the parties and candidate to sign a peace accord.
According to him, the commission had put in place a strong synergy with the security agencies in the state. He added that the youths, who are always the tools used to foment troubles, have been properly engaged on non-violent campaigns.