Ahead of the forthcoming governorship election in Ekiti State and the 2019 general elections, the Independent National Electoral Commission on Tuesday resuscitated the State Implementation Committee on Voters Education and Publicity (SICVEP).
The electoral umpire explained that the development was part of efforts at ensuring free, fair, credible, acceptable and conclusive elections.
The committee is made up of representatives of the Federal Ministry of Information, State Ministry of Information, the Ekiti State Office of the National Orientation Agency, Ministry of Women Affairs, the Broadcasting Service of Ekiti State and the State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ).
Speaking during the inaugural meeting of the committee in Ado-Ekiti, the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in the State, Prof. Abdul-Ganiyu Olayinka Raji, stressed the importance of passing accurate information on guidelines for the on-going voter registration and other relevant voter education.
He said this was targeted towards ensuring the success of the governorship election this year and the general elections scheduled for 2019.
The REC, who was represented by the Administration Secretary of the Commission in the State, Dr Omoleke Muslim, expressed satisfaction with the progress made in the on-going voter registration.
He noted that the number of the newly registered voters had exceeded the number recorded in the previous exercise by over 20 per cent.
He listed activities lined up for the committee in preparation for the elections to include organising implementation meetings with relevant stakeholders, voter education at the grassroots, as well as production and distribution of information, education and communication materials.
Raji explained that the focus of INEC was to boost political awareness of the people and make voters more conscious of their rights, adding that the Commission would remain neutral and leave no stone unturned in ensuring a level playing field for all contestants.
He cautioned politicians against making inflammatory statements and also called on journalists to refrain from reporting stories that were capable of heating up the polity.
He also stressed the need for them to check and crosscheck their stories before going to press, to avoid reporting falsehood.
He appealed to all stakeholders to act responsibly before, during and after the e gubernatorial election scheduled to hold on Saturday, July 14, 2018 and the 2019 general elections, in order to achieve the desired result