The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has urged stakeholders to collaborate ahead of the Edo governorship election set for September 21.

Prof. Rhoda Gumus, the INEC National Commissioner for Planning, Monitoring, and Strategy, emphasized this during an Election Risk Management workshop held in Benin on Wednesday.

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Prof. Gumus highlighted the critical role stakeholders play in the success of the electoral process, noting that organizing an election is a complex and extensive endeavor that cannot be undertaken in isolation.

The workshop aimed to familiarize participants with INEC’s electoral risk management strategies and to identify both internal and external risks associated with the election.

“The electoral risk management sensitization workshop aims to introduce participants to INEC’s risk management framework,” she stated.

“It also seeks to identify potential risks related to the governorship election in the state and develop strategies to mitigate them. This process requires financial resources, diverse human expertise, various levels of engagement, consultations, planning, and implementation.”

Prof. Gumus stressed that the commission, constitutionally responsible for conducting elections, needs the cooperation of security agencies and other stakeholders to ensure a successful election. She acknowledged that threats or risks to the election could arise from environmental factors.

Prof. Kunle Ajayi, the National Commissioner for Outreach and Partnership, underscored the importance of security during the election, emphasizing the need to identify potential flashpoints and prevent security breaches. He expressed confidence in the security agencies’ ability to manage election-related risks and violence.

“We trust that security agencies will utilize their expertise to provide adequate security before, during, and after the election,” Prof. Ajayi said.

Dr. Anugbum Onuoha, the Resident Electoral Commissioner, noted that effective risk management is crucial for ensuring a free, fair, and credible election. He urged the media to be cautious in their reporting to avoid misinformation that could lead to violence.

The Commissioner of Police in Edo State, Mr. Funsho Adegboye, assured that the police were prepared to provide comprehensive security throughout the election period, adding that police personnel were already undergoing sensitization.