INEC Ready For FCT Council Polls

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The FCT Abuja Resident Electoral Commissioner of INEC, Mr. Godwin Kwanga, said on Wednesday that the commission was ready to conduct elections for the six area councils on 16 March.

Kwanga gave the assurance at the stakeholder’s forum on the 2013 council election with political parties in Abuja.

“We can report that all the necessary materials to ensure the conduct of the elections have been received and duly deposited in the respective area council offices of the commission,” he said.

He said the commission had a responsibility to produce a transparent, free, fair and credible elections that would be acceptable by the electorate.

The commissioner solicited for the support and cooperation of all stakeholders to achieve the desired result.

Kwanga commended the conduct of the 13 political parties participating in the elections and urged them to maintain a cordial working relationship with the commission.

“The 13 political parties contesting the 2013 area council elections have indeed behaved themselves very well.

“However, this stakeholders’ forum will enable us do a final briefing in order to maintain the cordial relationship.

“We have released the 2013 FCT Register of Voters to the political parties in order to ensure transparency in the process,” he said.

Also speaking, the INEC National Commissioner, Mrs. Thelma Iremiren, said the forum would enable the commission exchange views with political parties on how to clear grey areas.

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Iremiren said that adequate security arrangement had been put in place to ensure a conducive and safe environment for the elections.

“We will not condone any act of violence or indiscipline. We shall not shy away from invoking the provisions of the Electoral Act, if the need arises.

“We will not hesitate to cancel any result where we suspect that there has been foul play,” she warned.

Iremiren also appealed to the political parties, candidates and polling agents to desist from any form of violence or untoward practices.

She said that accreditation would commence at 8 a.m. and end by noon, noting that those who are on the queue before noon would be accredited.

Iremiren added that voting would commence by 12.30 p.m. and would close as soon as the last person on the queue cast his or her vote.

“Only those who are on the queue at 12.30 p.m. and have been counted will be allowed to vote,” Iremiren said.

Also Speaking, the FCT Commissioner of Police, Mr. Olufemi Ogunbayode, restated the commitment of the police to provide adequate security before, during and after the elections.

Ogunbayode cautioned that: “No vehicle will be allowed to cross FCT during the election, except those on essential duties.

“Let it be clear to everybody that police will be ruthless in accordance with the law to anybody found causing trouble.”