Ahead of Saturday’s governorship election in Ondo State, the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) has urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to reciprocate the confidence of the electorate in Ondo State as voters head to the polls to exercise their constitutional rights.
The CDD Director, Idayat Hassan, gave the charge on Friday against the background that INEC has not been subjected to attacks and potshots, which it had faced in recent elections in other states.
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According to her, it is important for INEC to avoid delays in the collation and announcement of the election results at the voting centres in difficult terrains in some parts of the state, especially the riverine and mountainous areas.
She said, “One interesting trend observed by CDD in the Ondo State governorship election is the absence of or reduced level of attacks on the electoral umpire, the INEC. Compared to governorship elections in other states, INEC has been largely spared of denunciations and attacks, which are clearly aimed at undermining the idea of the commission’s impartiality.
“Politicians normally resort to the strategy of denouncing INEC so that if they lose the election, they can quickly blame INEC’s alleged compromise as the reason for their loss.”
Hassan noted that since INEC has not had to respond to such vicious attacks aimed at undermining its non-partisan role, and distracting it, it implies stakeholders have confidence in the process the commission is conducting.
She therefore urged INEC to reciprocate this confidence by ensuring it does not disappoint in the area of logistics and result collation on Saturday.
She said, “INEC cannot afford to fritter away this level of good will. It has to ensure the confidence reposed in it is properly reciprocated. This, it can do by ensuring materials arrive at the polling units on time; INEC should therefore consider the nature of the terrain in some parts of the state, especially the riverine and mountainous nature of some Local Government Areas.
“CDD hopes INEC will strategically factor these areas in its deployment plans to ensure there is no late arrival of materials. These factors will have to be considered in the aspect of reverse logistics, especially with respect to collation of results. Given the terrain difficulty in those LGAs, CDD calls on INEC to ensure its results viewing portal is capable of documenting results, especially from areas, which will pose a terrain problem.”