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Osun-West By-Election: INEC Appeals To Politicians To Keep Thugs Away From Polling Centers

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has appealed to politicians and political parties to keep thugs away from the polling and collation centres during the July 8, forthcoming Osun-West Senatorial by-election.

Mr Baritor Kpagih, the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) for the by-ection made the appeal during the Senatorial Election Stakeholders meeting on Monday in Osogbo.

According to Kpagih, security agents would be on ground during and after the election to provide security, but he equally appealed to politicians to keep their thugs away from polling and collation centres to make the jobs of security personnel much easier.

He said he had visited the ten Local Government Areas where the election would hold and discovered that people in those areas were highly intelligent, peaceful, educated and civilized citizens.

The REC who said he optimistic that the election would go on peacefully added that “we are going to have a good day”.

He said 11 political parties would be taking part in the bye election and that accreditation and voting would be carried out simultaneously on the election day as from 8am to 2pm.

Kpagih took time to explained all the process which INEC would follow for the conduct of the election to the stakeholders (political parties candidates and representatives) and called on them to present their party agents to follow-through with INEC to avoid any post election complaints.

He said only Permanent Voter Cards (PVC) and smart card readers would be used for the election and said for the convenience of voters, INEC would create voting points close to polling units to ease long queues and congestions at polling centres.

The Osun Commissioner of Police, Mr Olufimihan Adeoye while speaking on security matters at the meeting, appealed to politicians to conduct themselves during and after the election.

Adeoye equally advise the politicians, candidates of political parties and political leaders to impress it on their supporters to also conduct themselves in manners that would not violate the law.

He said anybody caught violating the law would be dealt with as an individual and not as a member of a political party, warning those without accreditation or clearance and un-authorised persons not to come close to the polling units or collation centres on the election day.

Adeoye said on the election day, movement would be restricted between the hours of 6am and 6pm in the senatorial areas where the election would be taking place and advise political party to mobilise their members that would vote before the restricted hours.

Making his own contributions about the coming election, Mr Idowu Adebowale, the Osun Comptroller of the Nigerian Immigration Service, said only eligible Nigerians who hail from the district would be allowed to take part in the election.

Adebowale warned foreigners to stay clear from the election, stressing that those with the misconception that they are Nigerians because they are married to Nigerians are still not qualified to vote except they have formally applied and naturalize to become Nigerian citizen.

The Osun Coordinator of the National Youth Service Corps, Mr Emmanuel Attah, in his own contribution warned politicians and their agents not to harass, intimidate or attack any of the corps member that would be engaged by INEC for the election.

Attah said the NYSC was apolitical and said the corps member should be treated with neutrally and not be molested adding that the corps would not take it lightly with anybody or group who maltreat their members.

Amiloaded reports that the stakeholders meeting which comprises of INEC, security agencies and political parties was held to enlighten the political parties and their candidates on proper steps to follow before, during and after the election as well as warn their supporter against causing trouble during and aft

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