ONDO, Nigeria – The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said that it is working to ensure early opening of polls and declaration of results, especially in the riverine areas, in the October 10 governorship election in Ondo State.
INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, disclosed this in Akure on Thursday, when he met with the traditional rulers in the state in preparation for next month’s election.
Yakubu stated that INEC would pay particular attention to places that have difficult terrains so that it could deploy materials early and get the results out of these places in good time.
He said, “Just yesterday, we discovered that between Ese-Odo and Ilaje, we have 270 polling units that are riverine areas.
“So, we’ve to quickly mobilise the boats and to get the results out early.
“The last time we had the support that we needed because the boats that we use to move materials and to bring results back have no headlights, so they are hardly used at night, but the Navy provided support because their boats have illumination.
“Fortunately, the law empowers the commission to seek the support of the military in moving materials to locations.
“So, I assure you that we’re leaving no stone unturned in ensuring that we deploy promptly and will also get results out to the state capital in good time.
“The longer it takes to make a declaration, people will begin to assume something fishy is about to happen with the result.
“So, we will ensure that results are promptly deployed and declared to restore people’s confidence in the electoral system.”
He added: “We will continue to take steps to ensure that we do so, but it is happening in a number of ways.
“We can only handle or attempt to solve this problem, while it happens at the polling unit level.
“But when it happens outside the polling unit, it’s difficult to track the perpetrators now that we are aware that vote-buying has gone digital.
“They now transfer money electronically ahead of the election, no longer during the election.
“So, we’ll continue to do whatever we can to ensure that people don’t buy votes at the polling units.”