By Ibrahim Oyewale
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has assured media practitioners in Kogi State that the Commission was ready to conduct free,fair and credible election on November 16.
Making a similar commitment in public, the Kogi State Police Command pledged to provide adequate security, before, during and after the governorship election in the state.
The Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC),Professor James Apam gave the assurance while receiving the media practitioners who staged a walk for peaceful election in the state on November 16, said that the commission is now set to conduct hitch free governorship election,organised by Nigeria Union of Journalists in collaboration with Search for Common Ground, an International NGO.
Apam explained that INEC has since commenced preparations toward having free and credible election and all is now set for the governorship election in Kogi State.
The REC appealed to the critical stakeholders to challenge INEC by allowing peaceful conduct of the governorship election, stressing that in as much as INEC is ready to conduct peaceful election as all critical stakeholders should abide by the rules of the game and then give the commission to perform it constitutional responsibility.
As part of effort to conduct free, fair and credible election, INEC had trained journalists on fake news and held several seminars, workshops for the stakeholders including journalists.
In the same vein, the Kogi State Police Commissioner, Hakeem Busari has called on Kogi electorates not to be afraid of coming out in large number to exercise their voting rights as police is ready to provide adequate security.
Busari spoke on Tuesday while receiving participants of media peace day rally organised by the Kogi state council of Nigerian Union of Journalists, NUJ in collaboration with Search for Common Ground.
He explained that with the kind of security arrangement put in place by the police, there would be no reason to entertain any fear.
He also assured politicians and their supporters of adequate security saying that everyone have been given level playing ground for campaign
“We have enough personnel,at least eight policemen and other security agencies ready to collaborate with us on that day to give necessary assurance to the people”he noted.
According to him, “the inspector general of police have provided us with additional police to man the polling station so that everybody will be able to come out and exercise their franchise without any fear of molestation.”
Apam assured of the commissions readiness to conduct a clean election that would be acceptable to all.
“We are committed to conducting free and clean election. However, this can only be achieved in an atmosphere of peace,so the youths should not allow themselves to be tools for violence during the election and even after that.”
Earlier, the state Chairman of National Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ), Ann Olurinde had on behalf on Kogi journalists, presented a position letter calling on both the police and INEC to ensure that the elections take place free of violence.
Demands made by media practitioners in Kogi State include, “being fair to all political parties without any form of bias in the discharge of their responsibilities.”
They also called for prompt arrest and prosecution of all electoral offenders including political actors and elected officials without immunity.