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Osun Guber: Police deploys 21,000 personnel for exercise

The Inspector General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba has disclosed that the force will deploy 21,000 personnel to Osun state to ensure adequate security for the peaceful conduct of governorship election in the state on Saturday.

Speaking at the Stakeholders meeting organised by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, in Osogbo, Osun state capital, said the 332 wards of the state have been adequately mapped out for efficient deployment of personnel.

He added that the police would not condone any act from any individual that could truncate the peaceful conduct of the poll, irrespective of their socio-political status.

“We shall be deploying a total of 21,000 police personnel for the exercise of the Osun election as part of the election security plan. All three senatorial districts, 332 wards and polling units have been appropriately mapped out and put for the deployment of adequate personnel who will be on the ground to maintain peace and order before, during and after the election.

“This deployment is not meant to intimidate any law-abiding citizens rather it is to deter misguided elements that may threaten the conduct of the election and violate the electoral act. It also serves as a strong warning that government is determined to protect the citizens.

While expressing worry over the menace of vote buying, Chairman, INEC, Professor Mahmood Yakubu said out of 1,955,657 registered voters, 1,479,595 voters have picked their permanent voters cards.

“I cannot conclude my remarks without addressing a matter of serious concern to our elections. Here, I am referring to sundry violations of our electoral law, including the diabolical practice of vote buying in which voters are financially induced to vote one way or another. It is obvious that the more the Commission and other stakeholders work hard to progressively improve the quality of national elections in Nigeria, the more some retrogressive elements try to undermine the process.

“While we will continue to work with the security and anti-corruption agencies to confront this challenge, our effort will be given a boost by the establishment of the Electoral Offences Commission and Tribunal as recommended by the Uwais Committee in 2009, reinforced by the Lemu Committee in 2011 and the Nnamani Committee in 2017. Happily, the Electoral Offences Commission and Tribunal Bill is under consideration of the National Assembly. INEC supports this initiative and appeals to the National Assembly for a speedy conclusion and passage of the Bill into law.

“I appeal to all registered voters that are yet to collect their PVCs to seize the opportunity of the additional measures to do so. Many of the PVCs have already been collected by citizens. Of the 1,955,657 registered voters in Osun State, 1,479,595 (or 76%) have collected their cards as at Sunday 10th July 2022. We are also updating our records to provide detailed breakdown of PVCs collected by polling units. This will be concluded and made available on Friday 15th July 2022. This is important because the total number of PVCs collected will be used to determine the margin of lead principle, as against the total number of registered voters in line with our Regulations and Guidelines for the Conduct of Elections 2022 derived from the provisions of the Electoral Act 2022,” he said.

Meanwhile the state Resident Electoral Commissioner, REC, Professor AbdulGaniy Raji has disclosed that the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, will announce result of the gubernatorial election 12 hours after the conduct of the poll.
He said with the cooperation of political parties participating in the election, the commission would conduct a free, fair and credible election in the state on Saturday, July 16.

“As we are all aware, the impressive outcome experienced in the Ekiti State Election is a good reflection of the level of planning and preparation and we are super ready to beat Ekiti record in Osun State by announcing the result in less than 12hours. To ensure this, we must all be on the same page and work towards a common goal of credible, fair, free and conclusive Governorship Election” he said.

Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi urged political gladiators in the state to lead with moral and rein in on their supporters on the need for violence-free election in the state.

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