The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has vowed not to be distracted by the antics of politicians before, during and after the governorship elections holding on September 19 and October 10 this year in Edo and Ondo states.
The Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, who spoke while swearing in a new Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) for Ekiti, Dr. Tella Adeniran Rahmon, at the commission’s headquarters yesterday in Abuja, stated that no amount of smear campaign would make the electoral umpire fail in conducting credible polls in both states.
The Osun indigene, Rahmon, had his nomination confirmed recently by the Senate.
Yakubu was reacting to a statement credited to the Chairman of Edo All Progressives Congress (APC) Media Campaign Council, John Mayaki and Colonel David Imuse (rtd) where they accused Akwa Ibom REC, Mike Igini, of plots to allegedly rig the exercise in favour of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state.
They had alleged that the INEC official was reportedly being induced to tilt the outcome in favour of their rivals.
But Yakubu said such allegations were not new to his officials, stating: “It was part of attempts to divert the commission’s attention from the onerous task of conducting elections in the country.”
He restated that the agency would remain focused.
His words: “The REC himself responded, and in my discussion with him on Monday, he said he has also asked his lawyers to initiate legal action 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 also say this, we stand by our Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs).”
He advised the new REC to respect all times the Electoral Act, guidelines and regulations of the commission, as well as the constitution of the country.