From Timothy Agbor/OSOGBO
Amidts call for his removal by the opposition parties in Osun state, the state Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Mr. Rufus Akeju on Thursday, 8th May, 2014, assured that the commission will conduct the August 9th 2014 governorship election in the state without fear or favour.
Akeju who gave the assurance in Osogbo, Osun State Capital at the inaugural meeting of the National Inter-Agency Advisory Committee on Voter Education and Publicity (NICVEP) said that his management will ensure that the commission is unbiased and the exercise more acceptable than past ones.
While noting that the establishment of the committee is timely, crucial and apt, Akeju said that the commission’s preparation on the forthcoming governorship election is in top gear towards successful exercise.
His words: “as the name implies, NICVEP is established to assist the commission to promote voter education and sound democratic practices as enshrined in Section 2 and 153 of the Electoral Act (as amended) amongst others.
“NICVEP is an advisory body that will support INEC to review the existing framework for voter education and advise the commission on areas requiring improvement to ensure that the voting populace is fully mobilised and educated towards the conduct of free, fair and credible election in the state”.
While positing that election rigging would be difficult for politicians under this dispensation, Akeju said the commission has developed measures that would make rigging impossible thus ensure credible election.
He warned against double registration saying that the commission has procured a new machine that will sort out and identify such practices in the nation’s democratic processes.
He said further that INEC and the newly inaugurated committee will work harmoniously to embark on programme of activities to improve on voter education, awareness programes, enlightenment ans sensitization programmes that are focused on orientation of electorates to address voters apathy and enable massive participation in the forthcoming elections.
The REC also said that the partnership will reduce violence during elections to correct the mistake of the past.
“I am confident that we now have a better framework within which to forge better ties to ensure the achievement of the noble objectives of transforming our dear country to a better society for the conduct of credible and violence free election that will be acceptable to all and sundry,” the Osun State REC said.
Akeju maintained that the commission will always maintain an open door policy in order to ensure transparency and accountability and sought for continued support of various establishments and corporations in the state towards ensuring adequate public enlightenment and voter education.
The state governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Iyiola Omisore, had called for the removal of Akeju alleging that the REC is a card-carrying member of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) in the state.