INEC seeks partnership with electoral stakeholders in Adamawa to have credible polls

Prof Mahmood Yakubu

INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu. AIEDC wants him out

INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu. 

Mr Kassim Gaidam, the Resident Electoral Commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Adamawa, has called for close working relationship with stakeholders for the conduct of credible elections.

Gaidam spoke on Friday in Yola, at a meeting between INEC and Security agencies on their preparedness for Saturday’s Presidential and National Assembly Election.

He said the meeting was aimed at evaluating situation reports, as well as to strategise to ensure the conduct of free, fair and acceptable polls in the state.

According to him, the meeting is to also ensure that all the Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) that have not been collected were safely returned to the custody of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in Adamawa.

Gaidam said: “We have fully briefed Adamawa electoral stakeholders; the total number of collected PVCs are 1, 788, 706.

“The implication of this is that the number of votes cannot be more than the number of PVCs collected, because the PVC is the only license for casting votes.

“Every stakeholder such as the media, security agencies, and civil society organisations, our religious and traditional leaders, should all be solution providers; we should collaborate to ensure success of the election.

“We should not be looking for faults or mistakes because nobody is perfect; let us put our heads together to ensure elections are conducted peacefully.

“Let us also work together to ensure that the will of the people is reflected in the outcome of the election; and ensure that the commission is not compromised.”

The REC, however, denied allegations that there were reports of underage voters registered by INEC in the state.

“Our register is clean and meets the global minimum standard of voting, we do not have anything like underage voters in Adamawa.’’

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He further explained that INEC had since November 2018, displayed the voters register in all polling units for people to raise objections, but only got 286 complaints and 1, 588 claims, which had all been sorted out.

Also speaking, Mr Audu Madaki, the Commissioner of Police on Election Duty in Adamawa, said that 3,500 policemen with additional 2,000 security operatives from sister agencies had so far been deployed for the elections.

According to him, they are specifically deployed to ensure a free, fair and open ended electoral process, both in the presidential and gubernatorial elections.

“I want to assure every eligible voter in the state that as far as security agencies are concerned, we have adequate security operatives in all areas where election will take place.

“Our men have been deployed to ensure hitch free polls; all the electoral officers that are deployed are working in high spirit, to ensure transparency in the electoral process.

“I urge the citizens to come out and cast their votes for the candidates of their choice; INEC and security agencies are fully prepared to conduct a hitch free election,” Madaki said.

The commissioner said the command had received intelligence reports on the activities of some thugs in Madagali, a border town with Borno State, but assured residents of adequate protection against any threat.

He disclosed that the command would intensify security patrols in the 21 local government areas of the state to counter any post-election violence from the Feb. 23 and March 9, elections.

NAN reports that 27 candidates from 43 registered political parties would contest for the governorship seat of Adamawa, while nine candidates are in the race for the House of Representatives, as well three for the Senate.

Adamawa has a total of 4,104 voting units and 2,609 polling stations across 226 wards in 25 constituencies.