The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) said it cannot be held responsible for the poor turnout of petitioners in Saturday’s verification of signatures for the recall of Kogi West Senator, Dino Melaye.
Alhaji Mohammed Haruna, the INEC Federal Commissioner in-charge of Kogi, Kwara and Nasarawa States, stated this in Lokoja shortly after the exercise.
Haruna said that the main concern of INEC was to ensure transparency in the process, insisting that the organisation was neutral in the bid to recall Melaye from the Senate.
“Turnout is not our problem; turnout is the problem of parties concerned, ours is to ensure transparency,” Haruna said.
Commenting on insinuations that INEC might tamper with the wish of the people, the commissioner said that nothing like that would happen, stressing that the agency had no interest in who won or lost in the matter.
“Nothing untoward will happen, I assure you . Whatever happened at the polling units is what INEC will announce,” he stated.
Commenting on the mix up in the list of petitioners, Haruna said that mistakes in such exercise were normal, assuring that such mistakes would be corrected.
He lauded the peaceful conduct of the people before and during the exercise.
DAILY POST reports that in Koton Karfe and Lokoja, the people conducted themselves well, although the turnout was poor.
At Ukwo polling unit in Koton Karfe, 18 out of 440 petitioners came for the verification, while at Oworo polling unit in Felele area of Lokoja, none of the 815 petitioners showed up.
Also at polling unit 004 of Ward 3 in Lokoja, 32 out of the 1,251 petitioners showed up.
During the exercise, there was no case of malfunctioning of card reader machines while security personnel adequately manned the polling centres.