Ekiti State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Prof. Abdulganiyu Raji, has said that the results of the July 14 governorship election in the state will be officially declared in Ado-Ekiti contrary to rumours that the results may be announced in Abuja.
Raji, who spoke during a voters’ education implementation committee meeting in the state capital yesterday, insisted that there was no iota of truth in the rumours making the rounds that the results of the election would be announced in Abuja.
He gave the assurance that INEC is adequately prepared and ready to conduct a free, fair and credible election, adding that relevant security personnel have been trained to guarantee safety of lives and property.
The REC, who disclosed that the enhanced card reader machine would be used to eliminate unwholesome sharp practices, warned that the commission would not allow anybody to distribute money around any of the polling units in the state as part of efforts to eliminate financial inducements from the electoral process.
Director of Voters Education and Publicity from INEC Headquarters in Abuja, Wale Ozaze-Uzzi, said only accredited journalists would be allowed to cover event in the state.
Meanwhile, the United States (U.S.) has informed of its interest and the international community in the events prior to and during the July 14 Ekiti State governorship election, urging all stakeholders to play by the rules guiding the poll.
The U.S. Consul-General, Mr. John Bray, stated this during a meeting with the Ekiti State Council of Traditional Rulers held in the palace of Ewi of Ado-Ekiti, Oba Rufus Adejugbe.
He said this in response to the request of the council for a free, fair and credible election in a peaceful atmosphere.
Bray, who promised that the U.S. was committed to peace before, during and after the election, said: “We are on the side of the people. We are here to support free, fair, credible and peaceful election. It is a pleasure to hear the concern of the people.”
The Chairman of the council and Oloye of Oye-Ekiti, Oba Oluwole Ademolaju had asked the U.S. to help monitor the events before and during the poll to ensure that the process is devoid of violence and the result is free and fair.
The monarch who pointed out that the Ekiti governorship poll would be a pointer to what is to come in the 2019 general elections insisted that the people of the state would resist manipulation in whatever form.
In another development, President of the Cyber Security Experts Association of Nigeria (CSEAN), Femi Afon, has said the country is not ready for electronic voting machines in the forthcoming general elections because of weak cyber security management and vulnerability issue.
Afon, in a chat with The Guardian, said lack of cyber security experts in INEC would make it difficult for the commission to employ simple technology like the EVM to conduct elections.
“I am not sure INEC has a cyber security unit talk less of a Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) and the same thing applies to most government agencies and ministries.
It will be difficult to fully implement EVM because we need experts to monitor its implementation and usage,” he said.