Governor Rotimi Akeredolu and 16 other governorship candidates in Ondo State are expected to sign a peace agreement on October 6.
Akeredolu, who is the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate and his Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) rival, Eyitayo Jegede, are the two major protagonists in the October 10 governorship election in Ondo State.
However, the emergence of the state’s Deputy Governor, Agboola Ajayi, as the Zenith Labour Party (ZLP) candidate makes this year’s election one of the most unpredictable polls in the state’s chequered history.
The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, disclosed this on Thursday while addressing journalists at the INEC office in Akure, the state capital.
He said the commission had recovered from the fire incident which destroyed over 5,000 smart card readers in its office in Akure, adding that sensitive materials for the exercise would arrive in the state on Monday.
Yakubu also disclosed that INEC was studying the cases of slow voting in Oredo local government area of Edo State during last Saturday’s governorship election in the state.
The INEC chairman also charged the National Assembly to expedite action on the establishment of the Electoral Offences Commission and Tribunal.
He said: “We are aware of the violence involving supporters of political parties. We will meet with the traditional rulers over the issue of violence. I am also glad that the National Peace Committee under the leadership of our former Head of State, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar (retd.), is going to intervene by organising the signing of the peace accord, similar to what we did in Benin.
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“That is why we have a representative of the NPC committee to do the preparatory work. The signing of the peace accord will take place on Tuesday, October 6, 2020, here in Akure.
“We have accomplished 12 of the 14 activities. This is exactly two weeks and two days to the election. Within the days remaining, there are exactly 16 days to the election. If we exclude the election day on Saturday, October 10, we have 15 days. So we have two weeks, and a day to the election. The sensitive materials for the election are ready.
“The Central Bank of Nigeria will deliver them to the (Akure) branch. On Monday, October 5, the sensitive materials for the election will arrive. We lost all our smart card readers to the unfortunate fire incident.
“But let me say that we have fully recovered from that incident. We have enough smart card readers from the neighboring Oyo State. We are configuring and charging the card readers here in Akure.”
Yakubu also urged journalists to expose vote buyers during election, adding that there are people who want to compromise the integrity of the process.
He, however, vowed that INEC would remain neutral during the election.
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