The Independent National Electoral Commission has assured to take all necessary measures to prevent rigging and violence in the upcoming October 10 governorship election in Ondo State.
INEC ’s National Commissioner and Chairman of its Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye said the commission has contracted the service of the military , police and other security agencies to flush out any threats towards peaceful conduct of the exercise in the state.
He said the help of security agencies is mostly needed in the creeks and other black spots in the state.
Mr. Okoye noted that there were 62 creeks and more than 270 Polling Units in the riverine areas of Ese- Odo and Ilaje Local Government Areas of the state which the commission was in touch with the Nigerian Navy and Marine Police to protect and escort the commission’s personnel and materials to the difficult terrains.
He added that the commission would leave no stone unturned to prevent rigging and violence in the election.
He said in previous elections in the state, the riverine communities had often been identified as flashpoints , given the peculiarity of the terrain as security agents often encountered difficulties in navigating the terrain .
“The police , Navy and other security agencies have been mandated to engage in clearance operation and flush out groups and individuals that threaten the peace of the state and the electoral process especially in the creeks and other black spots.
“More than 270 of our Polling Units are in the riverine areas of Ese- Odo and Ilaje Local Governments, with over 62 creeks , and we are in touch with the Nigerian Navy and the Marine Police for the purpose of protecting and escorting our personnel and materials to these difficult terrains.
“The security agencies will carry out mop up operations, deploy adequate platforms and conduct massive show of force especially in identified flashpoints. We will continue to appeal to the political parties and the candidates to eschew violence.”