By Olajide Idowu
Osogbo, – Observer groups accredited for the Osun governorship election have commended the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and security agencies for their commitment to ensuring a credible and transparent election.
The groups, especially Civil Society, during a pre-election news conference on Thursday in Osogbo, said INEC in collaboration with the security agencies in the state had given assurances of providing a secure and peaceful environment for the poll.
The Team Leader of the groups, Mr Victor Kalu, said that after the conclusion of a two-week pre-election exercise, their findings revealed that INEC was resolute, transparent and committed to conducting a credible, free and fair governorship election in the state.
Kalu said the commission had shown through its action and given assurances that it would provide a level playing ground for all the participating political parties in the state.
He added that INEC was not under pressure whatsoever, to compromise the system by favoring a particular party/candidate.
“The actions and conducts of INEC, to the best of our knowledge, are so far guided by the Electoral Act and the set standards for the election which had also been made known by all parties and stakeholders.
“Our team commends the electoral umpire of the state for its wonderful preparation for credible, transparent, violent-free and fair gubernatorial election in Osun in accordance with our relevant Electoral Laws.
“The level of preparedness of INEC toward ensuring credible and transparent election in Osun, especially in providing a level playing ground for all political parties participating in the
poll is hereby commended.
“The readiness of the electorate and level of voter awareness for the election is highly appreciated,’’ he said
Kalu said that observer groups would, however, recommend that the various security agencies on election duty to Osun should be well sensitised on their conducts and relationship with the people and other election duty personnel.
He urged the security agents never to lose focus but rather remain resolute in safeguarding lives and property even after the elections.
Kalu said the government, political parties/all political stakeholders and INEC should engage committed civil society groups on an intensive civic voter education for sensitisation and mobilisation ahead of the election.
He said the action would go a long way in encouraging voter participation in elections, particularly at the grassroots.
The Team leader pleaded with all stakeholders in the state to join hands with INEC in ensuring a credible and transparent election.
He also called on the electorate to shun and resist attempts and temptations of selling their votes to overzealous politicians ready to buy votes by all means.