Seventeen political parties will participate in the State House of Assembly election exercise this Saturday in Ondo.
Oyekola Oyelami, the Acting Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), in Ondo, revealed this on Wednesday while supervising the distribution of sensitive and non-sensitive materials meant for the weekend election.
Mr Oyelami said the leadership of the political parties has held a series of meetings with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in ensuring peaceful conduct of the election.
He added that the Assembly poll would take place in all the 18 local government areas of the state, where INEC staff had already been deployed to ensure the timely arrival of the materials.
“These political parties have already fielded their candidates that would participate in the Assembly election on Saturday,” Mr Oyelami told reporters at the premises of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) office in Akure, where the distribution took place.
According to him, the electoral commission is distributing the ballot papers and results sheets to the 18 local government areas of the state.
“By Thursday, these materials would be batched while on Friday, the materials would arrive at the RAC centres where they would pass the night and as early as 6:00 a.m. on Saturday, they would be moved to the various polling units for the election.
“Aside from these, we would also be deploying the BVAS which has been reconfigured for the Saturday exercise. So, all of them are working perfectly now and will be used in the polling units.”
He, however, pleaded with the electorates in the state to troop out en masse for the exercise to elect their representatives to the parliamentary house.
“They (electorates) should come out en masse because these lawmakers are the ones that would be making laws on their behalf,” said Mr Oyelami.
Adesanya Olaoluwa, the Chairman of the Inter-party Advisory Council (IPAC), in the state, who witnessed the distribution of the materials said that the political parties are ready for the election.
Mr Olaoluwa explained that the parties are optimistic that the electoral commission would deliver on its promises by ensuring the timely arrival of materials for the weekend exercise.
“We are aware that before Saturday that the election materials would have gotten to their various locations and destinations in preparation for the exercise.
“So, we are fully happy with what we saw and hopefully here today we are hoping INEC will surely deliver,” he said.
The IPAC chairman also reiterated that out of the registered 18 political parties in the country, only 17 would take part in the Saturday poll in Ondo.
“Truly, we have 17 political parties for the weekend election. Only Boot Party has no candidates for this exercise which would have made it 18”.
Meanwhile, the police in Ondo said it was deploying 5,000 conventional and mobile officers for the election exercise.
James Mawedo, an Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP), in Ondo, who also witnessed the distribution of the materials with his men, disclosed this to Peoples Gazette in Akure.
Mr Mawedo said the officers, among which are mobile police officers, would be placed at strategic locations at the polling units to ensure adequate security.
“Just like the way we deployed officers for the last election held a fortnight ago, we would also set out 5,000 officers to maintain security for this weekend exercise,” he hinted.