By Timothy Agbor, Osogbo
“Politicians can only try to rig the forthcoming election in Osun state, but I am sure they cannot succeed with their plan going by our preparations for the poll.”
These were the words of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Osun State, Dr. Rufus Akeju on the August 9 governorship election in the state.
Akeju declared that the governorship poll would be difficult for overzealous politicians to rig as the commission had put in place measures to outrightly prevent rigging.
The REC disclosed this while declaring open a two day workshop organized by the Osun State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) in collaboration with a non-governmental organization, Democracy Vanguard.
Akeju stated that the forthcoming election in the state would be strictly monitored by election observers from both within and outside the country.
He explained that INEC would guide against all forms of rigging during the election, saying that all forms of malpractices that characterize elections in the country would be strictly prevented by the commission.
According to Akeju, part of the measures to prevent rigging are strict monitoring of the election, proper supervision among other methods which he did not disclose.
“INEC has now made rigging very difficult during elections. The ballot paper to be used for election cannot be used more than once and it can’t be used by another person. We have taken measures to ensure that elections count in Nigeria,” he posited.
Assuring all the political parties that will participate in the election of free, fair and credible election come August 9, Akeju pointed out that he would protect the integrity of INEC in the state during and after the poll.
The INEC boss then charged journalists and other media practitioners in the state to play active roles in the election and avoid being an appendage of any political party stressing the need for the media to be unbiased in their report during the election.
The co-ordinator, Democracy Vanguard, Mr Adeola Soetan, in his speech urged the electorate to come out to cast their votes during the election and urged them to also monitor their votes.
He said the only power that the masses have is their vote urging them to use the power well for the sustenance of democracy in the country.