NB 247

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says a total of 1,955,657 registered voters are eligible to participate in the July 16 Osun governorship election.

The INEC National Commissioner, Festus Okoye, said this at a dialogue with media executives on Friday in Osogbo.

Mr Okoye said that 15 political parties would participate in the election in all the 30 local government areas in the state.

He, however, urged media executives in the state to ensure credible and fair reportage during the governorship election.

Mr Okoye, who added that the media is very important to the electoral process, said without the media, the commission’s election process and procedures might not get to the electorate and the parties’ candidates.

“We are meeting the media today because they are critical stakeholders in the electoral process.

“We appeal to the media to do proper investigation during the election before publishing any report.

“Breaking news is good but fact-checking is also important for the right information to be sent out,” he said.

Mr Okoye said that the Bimodal Accreditation System (BVAS) would be used for the authentication and verification of voters.

He also said that the election would be conducted within the ambit of the constitution, electoral act, INEC’s regulations and guidelines.

Mr Okoye said the election would be free, fair and transparent.

“We have the power to do what is right and we will put everything in place to do that,” he said.

Mr Okoye said that INEC Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, would be in the state between July 3 and July 7 to oversee preparation for the election.

He added that mock exercise and accreditation with BVAS would be done during the period. (NAN)

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