The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Ondo State, on Wednesday, distributed sensitive materials ahead of the Akoko North-East and Akoko North-West Federal constituency bye-election scheduled to hold on Feb 3.
Our correspondent reports that the Akoko North-East and Akoko North-West Federal constituency became vacant after President Bola Tinubu appointed Mr Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, who occupied the position, as a minister.
Representatives of the eight political parties contesting in the election and security agencies including NSCDC, FRSC, Police, Immigration and DSS were at the INEC office in Akure, venue of the exercise.
Prof. Kunle Ajayi, INEC National Commissioner, supervising Osun, Ogun and Ondo, who monitored the exercise, said that the distribution of the ballot papers was to show that the commission was ready for the by-election.
Ajayi, who said that the commission would be transparent in the conduct of the election, appealed to the political parties to eschew violence on the election day.
The commissioner said that the sensitive materials were being distributed today to ensure that no ward or polling unit was omitted or does not get materials for the election.
“So the sensitive materials will be moved to the two local governments councils tomorrow being Thursday with the help of security agencies.
“And, we want people to have confidence in INEC’s conduct of a free and fair election because we don’t have any political party, we don’t have any candidate, we are neutral in everything that we are doing.
“And we are going to reflect that again in Saturday’s by-election,” he said.
In her remarks, Mrs Toyin Babalola, the Resident Electoral Commissioner in Ondo state, assured the political parties of the commission’s readiness to conduct transparent, free and fair election.
“The riot act has been read to all adhoc staff on implication of getting involved in any electoral malpractice.
“So, our level of transparency is going to be high with utmost professionalism.
“Moreover, we have trained our staff, trained our officers and talked to ourselves and we will do it right,” she said.
Mr Adesanya Olaoluwa, State Chairman of Inter -Party Advisory Council (IPAC) commended the INEC for their transparency in the exercise saying all the parties was ready to cooperate with the commission.