The Independent National Electoral Commission on Thursday had an interaction with traditional rulers in Ondo State with a call on them to assist in the promotion of peace in the governorship election scheduled for October 10.
While asking for their prayers, the commission told the monarchs to ensure that the electorate comply with COVID – 19 protocols in line with the demands of the Presidential Task Force on – 19.
INEC assured the monarchs that it was ready for the election, while the voters would determine the next governor.
“We will be neutral and professional in the conduct of the election. But only the voters in Ondo State will determine who becomes the next governor on Saturday October 10 2020,” the commission assured.
The Olugbo of Ugbo and Chairman, Ondo State Council of Obas, Oba Frederick Akinruntan, at the meeting held at Cocoa Conference Hall, Governor’s Office, Alagbaka in Akure, commended chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu for a good performance at the Edo State governorship election.
He urged INEC to “do same in Ondo state in ensuring that the election is free, fair and credible.”
The INEC chairman said the meeting was to seek the support of traditional rulers to use their tremendous moral and traditional authorities to ensure peace within their domains.
Yakubu said, “Basically, we seek for your support in three ways. First, to continue to appeal to political parties and candidates and their supporters for peace, as you have always done in your domains. Secondly, to call on your people to observe the rules of personal and public safety.
“This is an election conducted in the context of a global health emergency, the COVID – 19 pandemic. It is important for voters to vote and go home in safety.
“Thirdly, we seek for your prayers for peace in Ondo state. We also seek for our prayers for INEC that election to be held will be peaceful free, fair, transparent, and credible.
“Learning from my experience in Edo State, social distancing at the polling unit level was not properly observed. We believe that the Royal Majesties will help us by adding your powerful voices to call for compliance with this important safety requirement. This will strengthen our message that no voter will be allowed to vote, unless he or she wears the face mask. No face mask, no voting.”