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Governorship: INEC unleashes EFCC on vote buyers in Gombe

OBIORA IFOH, Gombe

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC has been engaged by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to be on surveillance to deal with all cases of vote buying and selling and other forms of inducement both within and outside Voting Stations in Gombe State.

INEC has also confirmed that there are 32 candidates contesting for the office of Governor while 253 candidates will be contesting for 24 seats of the Gombe State House of Assembly.

At the briefing on Friday on the readiness of the commission for the Saturday’s election in the state, the Resident Electoral Commissioner, Alhaji Umar Ibrahim, said, “In the area of security, we have received assurances of improved deployment from the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES) to safeguard our personnel, materials and the electorates.

“The members of EFCC are on surveillance to deal with all cases of vote buying and selling and other forms of inducement both within and outside Voting Stations.

“I wish to restate our unwavering resolve to provide a level playing field for all candidates and parties and the conduct of free, fair and credible elections tomorrow. I therefore call on all registered voters in Gombe State to come out en masse with their PVCs to vote for candidates of their choice without fear of intimidation and be rest assured that their votes will count.”

Umar Ibrahim said the experiences of 23rd February was used as a springboard for the conduct of even more credible elections on saturday.

According to him, “To achieve this goal, we extensively reviewed the last elections, identified areas that needs improvement and fashioned an action plan. Therefore, sensitive materials were sorted, distributed and deployed to LGAs on Wednesday 6th March for early detection and mitigation of any shortfall.

“The LGAs in turn, yesterday batched the materials into Registrations Areas and as we speak, movement of personnel and materials to Registration Area Centres (RACs) if not concluded, is in progress and will soon be concluded. All these were done under the presence of Party Agents, Election Observers, Journalists and security agents who escorted the materials to the various LGAs. Distribution of non-sensitive materials to Polling Units (PUs) has been concluded while sensitive materials will be distributed at the RACs.

“Furthermore, refresher training for all poll officials will be conducted at the RACs today to ensure better handling of the Smart Card Reader, electronic voters register, result sheets and crowd management.

“We have made adequate arrangements to cater for eventualities of Smart Card Reader malfunction. About 10 to 15 Smart Card Readers have been deployed to LGAs as back-up. Each RA is being manned by one Registration Area Technical Support (RATEC) personnel to deal with any issue arising from the Card Reader. I therefore call on the electorate to ensure that the Smart Card Readers are used for accreditation in all PUs to avoid rendering their efforts futile.

“Eligible voters must note that the non-use of the Smart Card Reader for accreditation is Zero score for that unit.
To ensure early arrival at PUs, we have renewed our commitment with the NURTW and received assurances of early deployment of election materials and personnel to PUs.”

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