AHEAD of the November 11 governorship election, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) have said that about 2,300 soldiers will be deployed to the 27 councils of the State.
The State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Prof. Sylvia Agu, disclosed this yesterday during a two-day media roundtable/engagement, organised by the International Press Centre (IPC), funded by the European Union, under the Democratic Governance in Nigeria (EU- SDGN 11) Component 4 Support to Media.
Agu hinted that the Commander of 34 Field Artillery Brigade, Obinze, near Owerri, the state capital, had assured of the arrangement.
She said: “I have discussed with the Brigadier General (Commander) here, and he assured me that about 2,300 soldiers will be deployed to the state during the election.”
The INEC-REC also assured that, under her watch, journalists would be given real time information about activities and voter civic education.
Debunking the insinuation in some quarters that she aided electoral fraud during the last general elections in the state, Agu said that during the last election, the majority of the ad-hoc workers and private drivers resigned on the day of election, citing security reasons, which was a big challenge.
She pointed out that the commission wriggled out of it when she managed to use 501 workers during the period. According to her, only two constituencies had initial problems, leading to cancellation and re-run.
The REC, therefore, advised journalists to refrain from sensational reporting hate speech, misinformation and disinformation, among other disparaging acts.
According to her, organising debates for candidates and public enlightenment activities would help the commission in dissemination of electoral issues.
Commending the EU for the funding support, the Executive Director of IPC, Lanre Arogundade, represented by the Editor of the Nigerian Democratic Report (NDP), Ayo Aluko-Olokun, and the Programme Officer of IPC, Melody Akinjiyan, in their respective speeches, advised participants to practice what they had received during the training.