The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) said on Thursday that it thoroughly screen and reduce the number of observers that would monitor upcoming governorship election in Kogi.
Mrs Rose Oriaran, Head, Civil Society Organizations Unit, INEC, stated this at a meeting with representatives of civil society organisation in Lokoja.
She explained that the measure was to avoid infiltration into the electoral process by political agents, who had been masquerading as observers.
Oriaran added that the step was also part of efforts by INEC to organize a free and credible election in the state.
She expressed appreciation of the commission for civil society groups’ contributions to the successes of past elections.
She, however, disclosed that INEC had come to a stage when it would separate the wheat from the chaff ‘’as far as election monitoring is concerned’’.
The unit head said that the commission was bent on correcting past mistakes where some groups offered to be election observers only to turn out to be politicians.
She appealed to groups in the state to show understanding and continue to be good partners with the commission in its quest to bequeath a credible electoral process to the nation.
She also advised youths in the state not to allow themselves to be used as thugs by unscrupulous politicians during the election.
In their remarks, some of the representatives of the civil society groups commended INEC for the decision but insisted that it should be fair and firm in the implementation of the decision.
One of them, Mrs Esther Audu, urged the commission to empower observers who would be selected to monitor the election so that they would do a thorough job.