Ondo - The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Ondo State has pledged to conduct a credible, free and fair governorship election on Oct. 20.
The Resident Electoral Commissioner in the state, Mr Akin Orebiyi, made the pledge in Akure on Monday during a voter education workshop jointly organised by the International Foundation for Electoral System (IFES) and the INEC.
Orebiyi said that the workshop became necessary because Nigerian politicians see elections ``as if they are going for a battle.”
He said all the stakeholders in the electoral process had critical roles to play in the country’s march toward a credible election.
``The fact that Nigeria was listed among the eight educationally-backward nations in the world underscores the need to teach the illiterate electorate on how to cast their votes.
``We are not leaving any stone unturned in our determination at INEC to ensure that all valid votes count in the forthcoming election.
``We are determined that the literate ones are reached and convinced to exercise their civic rights by explaining to them that a credible agency is in charge of our electoral process in the country.
``We are also determined to reassure the illiterate electorate that their voices would be heard through their votes and that the power to determine who governs them lies in their voters’ cards, which they must not sell for any amount,” he said.
In her remarks, Mrs Uloma Osuala, the Deputy Country Director of IFES, explained that the essence of the voter education workshop was to reduce apathy and cases of void votes during elections.
Osuala also explained that IFES was currently working with governments of about 130 countries across the world on the need to ensure credible election.
She said the participants would be educated on their specific roles before, during and after the election, to stimulate interest of the public.
The training programme was organised for electoral officers and civil society groups in the state ahead of the governorship poll.