The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC says it will not compromise its integrity in the conduct of the Edo governorship election billed for Sept. 19 in spite of the inhibitions created by the COVID-19.
INEC’s National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Committee, Mr Festus Okoye, made the promise at an interactive session with heads of media organisations in Benin.
“INEC has never conducted elections under a pandemic situation. ”This pandemic had made us evolve new strategies for electoral officials, ad-hoc staff, security agencies, voters and stakeholders.
” We have eliminated human interface with most of the electoral processes including submission of names of candidates by political parties including accreditation of relevant stakeholders and applications by ad-hoc staff ahead of the election.
“We don’t want anybody to jeopardise their health during the exercise as the commission will strive to perfect the electoral process within the ambit of the constitution.
“We have also resolved to avoid ugly experiences of the past not to deploy any of our staff and materials without armed security operatives.
“We have interfaced with heads of security agencies and implored them to ask their personnel to act professionally while on election duty.
“We are also using this medium to request you as media executives of your various organisations to similarly implore your reporters and cameramen to exercise restraint and as much as possible refrain from an altercation with security operatives while on election duty,” Okoye said.
The commissioner, who assured the electorate of a credible, free and fair governorship election, called for synergy between INEC and the media on information dissemination.