The Independent National Electoral Commission INEC has reassured the electorate in Edo state to expect nothing less than a free and credible poll on September 19, when the governorship election is slated to hold. The Chairman affirmed that it will continue to stand by its promises for the conduct of a credible poll despite corrupt politicians who wants to soil their image.
Mahmood Yakubu the INEC national chairman stated this while fielding questions from journalists, shortly after swearing a new Resident Electoral Commissioner for Ekiti State, Tella Adeniran Rahmon, at the Commission’s Headquarters in Abuja.
Yakubu, said the Commission would continue to stand by its Resident Electoral Commissioners REC to ensure Edo poll is credible, INEC he said would continue to discharge its duty diligently.
This is coming few days after the Edo State Media Campaign Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), John Mayaki, accused the Akwa Ibom State REC, Mike Igini, of plotting with Governor Godwin Obaseki and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to rig the September 19 governorship election.
Igini has dragged Mayaki to court demanding N1 billion for character assassination, a retraction and public apology.
He said: “The REC himself responded and in my discussions with him on Monday, he said he has also asked his lawyers to initiate legal actions against the person who made the statement. So, we leave it at that since the matter is likely to go to court but let me also say this, that we stand by our Resident Electoral Commissioners. We know the kind of job we are doing on the eve of elections.
“All manner of people come with all manner of accusations to slander officials of the commission and essentially to divert our attention from the onerous task of conducting elections in the country.
“We won’t be distracted. We know all these shenanigans, people have been doing this for a long time. It will not distract us from doing what is right. My assurance to the people of Edo, Ondo and the 13 constituencies where we are going to conduct bye-elections on October 31 is that they should expect from INEC free, fair and credible elections; professional conduct. We will not compromise our oath of office for any reason. Whoever the people vote for becomes their governor or representative. This is our assurance to Nigerians.”
Earlier, shortly after administrating the oath of office on the new REC, Yakubu, charged him to carry out his duties within the ambit of the provisions of the Electoral Act and the Constitution.
The newly sworn-in REC, while responding pledged to abide by the provisions of the Act that established the Commission to the later.
Recall that the National Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) who recently had a meeting with the Inter Consultative Committee on Election Security stated that the commission is fully ready and prepared to conduct the Edo governorship election, stating that the whole purpose of the visit was to see firsthand the level of preparation, which it has gotten prior information of.
He added that the commission was committed to ensuring safe environment for the peaceful conduct of the election hence the meeting with ICCES, stakeholders and electoral officials in Edo.
Yakubu said that INEC would make the system open and transparent.
Just two weeks into the Edo governorship race, do you think INEC will fulfill its mandate in the poll? How prepared are you seeing the commission? Please do drop your comments.