The Osun State Governorship election is one of the off-cycle election and has been scheduled for Saturday 22nd September, 2018. In order to effectively monitor and track the activities within the pre-election, election day and post – election periods, the INEC with support from the European Centre for Electoral Support under the European Union funded Support to Democratic Governance in Nigeria (EU-SDGN) programme organised an Election Monitoring and Support Center (EMSC) implementers workshop for electoral officers. This workshop held at the Western Sun International hotel, AISU-NYSC camp road, Ede, Osun state from August 13 - 15, 2018.

The workshop which id for the Amber zone activities is similar to the one conducted in the run-up to the 2018 Ekiti State Governorship election afforded participants the opportunity to understand the various activities, timelines, dependencies, risks, collaborative networks as well as the integrated EMSC Operational Manual for the successful conduct of the election.

INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner in the state, Olusegun Agbaje, said the training was aimed at bridging gaps among all the officials that would partake in the election.
Speaking, Segun Agbaje, the Osun INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner, said that the commission was ready to conduct free and fair governorship election in the state.

“In the past, there had been instances where officials would be working at cross-purposes without realizing that they were actually meant to synergize to achieve the result. That is what this training was meant to address so that the officials at all levels would work together to conduct free, fair and transparent election,” he said.

He commended the European Centre for Electoral Support (ECES) for supporting the commission on the training for key officials, including the heads of department, electoral officers and assistant electoral officers drawn from all the local government areas of the state and the INEC state office in Osogbo.

In his remarks, ECES Project Coordinator Mr. Rudolf Elbling said the Centre was proud to support the commission to ensure free, fair and smooth conduct of the forthcoming state governorship election. He lauded the European Union for its support to the growth and sustenance of Democracy in Nigeria and Africa.

Mr. Elbling said EMSC training was aimed at integrating the Election Project Plan and Election Management System to provide effective implementation and monitoring of the governorship election in the state. He said that the workshop was geared towards sensitizing participants on their expected roles and improve their capacities to deliver credible and fair governorship election in the state. “The implementers’ workshop was put together to familiarize INEC functionaries in the state with the structure and operational frameworks of EMSC ahead of the election. “EMSC is an innovative way to monitor electoral plans and implementation of election activities that can assist INEC in evaluating its readiness for an election,” he added.

Elbling, represented by Fabien Marie, an ICT expert with ECES, commended INEC for taking a giant stride in the integration of EPP and EMS for effective implementation and monitoring of electoral activities.

In his remarks, Prof. Muhammad Kuna, the Special Adviser to INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, commended ECES for their active support in election affairs in the country.
Kuna said that the Centre had been in the forefront of providing necessary facilities, training materials, books and venues for conduct of credible elections. He said that necessary logistics would be provided to ensure credible election in the state and other subsequent elections in the country.

The workshop had over 180 participants comprised of Electoral Officers cutting across the 30 Local Government Areas of Osun state and some staff of INEC headquarters.


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