INEC seeks stakeholders’ collaboration for Edo poll

The Independent National Electoral Commission has sought the collaboration of all stakeholders to ensure the success of the September 21, 2024, governorship election in Edo State.

The National Commissioner, Planning, Monitoring and Strategy, Prof. Rhoda Gumus, made the call on Wednesday at an Election Risk Management workshop for stakeholders in Benin.

Gumus said the election was a complex and enormous undertaking that cannot be done in isolation.

She said the idea behind the workshop is to expose participants to INEC electoral risk management and identify internal and external risk factors associated with the conduct of the election.

She said, “The Electoral Risk Management sensitization workshop seeks to expose participants to the INEC Electoral Risk Framework, identify internal and external risk factors that may be associated with the conduct of governorship election in the state, and develop mitigating strategies.

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“The conduct of elections in every clime is a complex and enormous undertaking which cannot be done in isolation; it requires financial resources, a wide variety of human expertise in diverse areas, varying layers of engagements, consultations, planning and eventual implementation.

“The INEC constitutionally is saddled with the responsibility of conducting elections, it unequivocally needs the cooperation of security management bodies and other relevant stakeholders to achieve the conduct of a successful election.”

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According to him, the interplay of environmental dynamics is recognised as either negatively or positively impacting an election by security experts from all ideological spectrums.

The commissioner added, “Threats or risk that impede the successful conduct of elections emanate from the environment and are directly or indirectly linked to the legal, operational, technical, political, socio-economic and security situations prevailing in a country, peculiarly in transitional democracies.”

Also, the Commissioner in charge of outreach and partnership, Prof. Kunle Ajayi, said everyone must be concerned about security during elections and the prevention of security breaches by identifying flashpoints.

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He said the commission has confidence in the security agencies to manage election risk/violence where it may occur, adding, “We know that the security agencies can use their expertise to provide adequate security before, during, and after elections.”

The Resident Electoral Commissioner,  Anugbum Onuoha, stated that the ability to manage risk during the election would lead to the conduct of a free, fair, and credible election.

The state Commissioner of Police, Funsho Adegboye, said his men were ready to provide adequate security on election day, noting sensitization of the police officers started long ago.

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