The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) said it stand by its Resident Electoral Commissioners (REC) in Akwa Ibom State, Mike Igini against allegations by the Edo All Progressives Congress (APC).
INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu who spoke at the swearing in of a newly appointed REC, Dr. Tella Adeniran Rahman said such accusations often arise on even of elections to slander officials of the commission.
“In my discussions with him, he also asked his lawyer to initiate legal actions against the persons who made the statement. So we leave it at that since the matter is likely to go to court.
“But let me say that we stand by our Resident Electoral Commissioners. We know the kind of job we are doing. On the even of elections all manner of people will come with all manner accusations to slander officials of the commission,” he explained.
Prof. Yakubu said the purpose would be to divert the attention from the onerous task of conducting elections, but assured that INEC will not be distracted.
“We know all these shenanigans. It won’t distract us from doing what is right. My assurance to the people of Edo and the people of Ondo, and the people of the 14 constituencies where we are going to conduct elections on October 31 is that they should expect from INEC a free, fair, credible elections and professional conduct.
“We are not going to compromise our oath of office for any reason. Whoever they vote for becomes their governor or representatives,” he assured.
Prof. Yakubu said the commission is ready for the conduct of Edo governorship, disclosing that the commission has fulfilled 12 out of 14 programmes it itemised for the election.
He expressed worry at the spate of violence in the ongoing campaign, noting that he spent three days in Edo State last week to engage stakeholders on need to maintain peace during the election.
He told the new REC who he said will serve in Ekiti, to strive in his new posting, to deepen electoral process.