Chairman of Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission, Professor Attahiru Jega, on Tuesday in Benin, said the people of Edo would witness a fair electoral process in the conduct of Saturday’s governorship election in the state.
Jega said this on arrival at the Benin airport.
He said he was in the state to personally assess the commission’s final preparations for the election.
“We are in Edo State in fulfillment of the promise we made to Nigerians and the people of Edo State in particular to ensure a free, fair and credible election.
“And we are working day and night and doing our best to ensure that there is a free, fair and credible election in Edo State.
‘’I am here to see the last minute preparations before the Saturday election; I know we have done everything possible to ensure free, fair and credible election.
“But I am here to make sure everything has been done as planned before the election on Saturday.”
He said he would also meet with stakeholders to brief them about the last minute preparations, adding that the commission would address any questions or complaints.
“We have done everything possible within the rules and regulations to accredit observers for the election in Edo State.
“We have used the same procedure we have always used in all the elections we have had in INEC since the April election.
“We applied that criteria in a number of states; we normally advertise and people are given time within which to apply,’’ he said.
He added: “and anybody who did not apply within the time allocated will not be considered and that is what has happened in this regard.
“We did not deliberately exclude anybody.
“Anybody who has not been accredited as an observer in the Edo election is because he has not satisfied the requirement for accreditation for the election.
“We have had stories being peddled around that we did not accredit any Edo civil society organisation.
“Of course that is false and that is not true.”
Jega said that the commission had accredited many Edo-based civil society organisations, adding that some of them did not meet the requirement for accreditation.
Meanwhile, the authorities of the Auchi Polytechnic have shut the school for two weeks, ahead of the governorship election scheduled for July 14.
The students have been asked to vacate the school hostels latest by 4 p.m. on Wednesday.
According to a statement by the institution’s Registrar, Dr. Margaret Aashikpelokhai, the students are to resume on July 22.
The statement, however, stated that the directive did not affect the Post-UTME screening of the polytechnic slated for Wednesday.