As the October 10 governorship election in Ondo State draws nearer, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has assured electorates in the state of conducting credible polls as did in Edo State.
The electoral umpire has been commended by many individuals and groups; both local and international, for the conduct of the Edo polls which has been widely adjudged credible.
However, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, INEC Chairman, told newsmen that the commission was ready to conduct similar credible poll in the state.
Prof. Yakubu stated this during his official visit to the INEC Headquarters in Akure, the Ondo State capital on Wednesday.
He assured the people of Ondo that just like Edo, their votes will count. “Our responsibility is to ensure that we protect the integrity of the process and the integrity of the choice that they make,” he added.
“We are ready for the election. The same preparation we made for Edo is the same we will make for Ondo. For the purpose of this visit is for us to see practically what the state office has done, we also need to engage some of the stakeholders.
“For instance, we are meeting with the council of traditional rulers, and then thereafter the security agencies. We will meet with our staff; we have requested that all our staff in the 18 local governments to come to Akure on Friday. We will use the opportunity to see the level of preparation.
“We are coming back in a week for stakeholders’ meeting and the signing of the peace accord.
“But this visit is essentially to meet our own officials to see the level of preparation.”
Commenting on the destruction of over 5,000 smart card readers resulting from a fire that caught the INEC office in Ondo, Prof. Yakubu said it will be replaced for the October election.
“We have already recovered, we have recovered by getting some card readers from Oyo State, they have been delivered to Ondo State, they have been charged and configured and ready for the October 10 governorship election,” he said.
“Equally and importantly, we used the zee pads to upload the results on the election day in real time. We have moved the zee pads from Edo to Ondo State for the election. At the polling units, you will see both cards readers and the zee pads. So, we are fully prepared for the election.”