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INEC seeks stakeholders’ cooperation over Edo governorship election

Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has called for cooperation from stakeholders, ahead of the Sept. 21 governorship election in Edo.

Prof. Rhoda Gumus, INEC National Commissioner in-charge of Planning, Monitoring and Strategy, made the call during an Election Risk Management workshop for stakeholders on Wednesday in Benin.

Gumus said that the involvement of stakeholders was important for the success of the exercise.
She said that the conduct of election was a complex and enormous process which could not be done in isolation.
The INEC chief noted that the workshop was aimed at exposing participants to INEC’s electoral risk management and identifying internal and external risk factors associated with the conduct of the election.
“The electoral risk management sensitisation workshop seeks to expose participants to the INEC’s electoral risk framework.
“It is also to identify internal and external risk factors that may be associated with the conduct of the governorship election in the state and to develop mitigating strategies.
“It requires financial resources, wide variety of human expertise in diverse areas, varying layers of engagements, consultations, planning and eventual implementation,’’ she said.
According to her, the commission is constitutionally saddled with the responsibility of conducting elections and, therefore, needs the cooperation of security agencies and other relevant stakeholders to ensure success.
Gumus stated that the threats or risks that might impede the successful conduct of the election could emanate from the environment.
Also, the National Commissioner in charge of outreach and partnership, Prof. Kunle Ajayi, said that everyone must be concerned about security during the election and prevention of security breaches by identifying flash points.
Ajayi noted that the commission had confidence in the security agencies to manage election risk and violence, wherever it might occur.
“We know that the security agencies can use their expertise to provide adequate security before, during and after the election,” he said.
The Resident Electoral Commissioner, Dr Anugbum Onuoha, noted that the ability to manage risk during election could lead to free, fair and credible exercise.
Onuoha, however, called on the media to be circumspect in their reportage, stressing that unconfirmed reports might misinform the public and lead to violent reactions.
The Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr Funsho Adegboye, said that his men were ready to provide adequate security before, during and after the election, adding that sensitisation of the police personnel had already commenced.

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