The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it has no candidate in Saturday’s Bayelsa, Kogi and Imo governorship election, because it is not a political party.
Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, the INEC Chairman, said this at a news conference held at the Kogi Headquarters of the commission in Lokoja on Friday.
Yakubu, represented by Dr. Gabriel Longpet, the INEC Kogi Resident Electoral Commissioner(REC) said that as an umpire, the commission would ensure that the election was free, fair and credible.
He said that to demonstrate the seriousness attached to the election, INEC had deployed two National Commissioners, nine Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) and Administrative Secretaries (ASs) for effective monitoring.
“Additional staff from different states have been deployed to each of the three states to support the process across the senatorial zones in the states.
“We have delivered all sensitive and non-sensitive materials for the elections, the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) has been configured for deployment to Polling Units as the only means of voter verification and finger prints/facial biometric authentication of voters.
“Polling Unit results will be uploaded to the INEC Result Viewing (IReV) portal. All election duty officials have been trained. Arrangements have been made for land and maritime transportation to enable us commence voting on scheduled.
“In spite of the extremely difficult terrain and physical infrastructure in some locations, we are determined to ensure that our officials are there waiting for voters rather than the voters waiting for our arrival, ” he said.
He called on INEC officials both regular and ad hoc to demonstrate the highest level of patrotism and professionalism during the election.
“Election is a multi-stakeholder responsibility and with every election, lessons have been learnt from recent elections,” he said.
He said that INEC would continue to ensure free, fair and credible and inclusive election in Nigeria.
“We can’t do it alone,” he said.
The chairman said that INEC had received assurances from the security agencies that the environment would be secured for the election and all participants: voters, electoral officials, acredited observers, the media and polling/collation agents.
“Already, political parties and candidates have signed the peace accord under the auspices of the National Peace Committee (NPC), therefore let us maintain the peace and play our roles consciously,” he said