Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has declared that cameras and other recording devices will not be allowed into polling booths during Saturday’s governorship election in Osun State.
Chairman of the commission, Mr Mahmood Yakubu, made this known in Osogbo on Monday at an interactive session with stakeholders.
He said the move would curb the acts of vote-buying and vote-selling which had become a new strategy adopted by politicians to rig elections.
He said voters would not be barred from using their devices at the polling units but would not be allowed to hold their cameras and telephones from the moment they are issued with ballot papers until they cast their marked ballots inside the ballot boxes.
“The menace of vote buying is now a new concept in our electoral system, and I can assure you that the commission will rise to these challenges,” he said.
“I want to make clarification on the use of mobile phones, we are restricting its usage from the time a voter gets ballot paper and cast his vote, in which the device will be returned thereafter.”
Yakubu also said the commission had achieved 73 per cent collection of Permanent Voter Cards by eligible voters in preparation for the governorship election slated for September 22.
He said Osun State has set a record of having 48 political parties participating in the election, the highest so far in Nigeria.
“Our ultimate objective is to ensure that the choice of who governs the people of Osun in the next four years is in the hands of the electorate,” said Yakubu.
“Today, malpractices like ballot snatching, ballot stuffing, hijacking of electoral materials and the rest have been considerably reduced.
“Obviously, we have progressively improved on our punctuality to the polling units, and the same tempo will be sustained in this contest.
“I want to assure that come Saturday, only votes cast by voters in the state will determine who becomes the next governor of the state.”
Inspector-General of Police, Mr Idris Ibrahim, in his remarks at the event, said the police would be impartial and ensure the security of voters and other stakeholders before, during, and after the contest.
He disclosed that 18,426 police officers would be deployed to the state, adding that eight commissioners would be in charge of all area commands in the state.