By Osaigbovo Iguobaro, Benin
The Network on Good Governance (NGG) at the weekend extracted commitment from stakeholders that would assist in prosecuting free and fair general elections in 2019.
The intervention is aimed at ensuring that the choices eligible voters will make during the general elections in 2019 comply with international standards.
At an interactive session at the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Press Centre in Benin City, Edo State, the Coordinator of NGG, Peter Nwandishi, assured that the election will be credible and peaceful if the various actors play according to established rules.
Edo State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Emmanuel Alex Hart, chronicled the arrangements put in place to check electoral fraud including vote selling and vote buying.
Hart was represented by the head Voter Education, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), in the State, Wilfred Ifoga.
He said INEC was already collating the data of physically challenged Nigerians and persons of voting age to enable the commission make adequate provisions for them in future elections.
Ifoga, allayed the fear of cloned Permanent Voter Cards (PVC’s) by desperate politicians, stating however that the commission will not take responsibility for any voter who trade away his or her PVC for pecuniary benefits.
“There is this information that certain persons claiming to be INEC staff, and requesting for details of PVCs. What INEC is saying is that if you give to them, you are on your own.
“There is nothing to fear because there is no cloned PVC that will be captured or read by the card reader machines”, he said.
The State Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu, said a special training for police personnel that would be deployed for the 2019 polls has been done.
Odumosu, who was represented by Police Operations Officer, Daniel Ogbe, assured of drastic reduction in crime rate across the State, before, during and after the elections.
He said police personnel assigned to election duty would cooperate with sister agencies and carryout their job diligently in line with best practices.
Edo State Director of National Orientation Agency (NOA), Grace Eseka, said the agency is all out to curb the number of invalid votes in the forthcoming elections by stepping up enlightenment campaigns.