The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Mahmood Yakubu, has said that the electoral body is committed to conducting free, fair and credible election in Edo State.
Speaking during a Peace Accord organised by the National Peace Committee on Tuesday in Benin, the INEC boss said the commission remains neutral, adding that the choice of Edo voters will be respected in the election.
“I wish to assure you of INEC’s commitment to credible elections. The votes will count. The people of Edo State will determine who becomes their next governor. Their choice will be upheld.
“Let me also reassure you and the voters in Edo State of the commission’s neutrality. I call on all political parties and their candidates to abide by the letter and spirit of the peace accord,” he said.
Speaking further, Yakubu asked political candidates to allow the signed Peace Accord serve as a covenant with the people of the state.
In doing this, he wants them to maintain peace before, during and after the September 19 election to avoid bloodshed.
His remarks come 24 hours after he reiterated the commission’s readiness to smoothly conduct the election.
Yakubu who spoke during a stakeholders’ meeting in Benin City, said INEC will not undermine the integrity of the electoral process.
“The Commission shall not take any action to the advantage or disadvantage of any political party or candidate. Our focus is on our processes and procedures, nothing more,” he said.
On plans made by the electoral umpire for the exercise, Yakubu said the commission has recruited, trained and carefully screened all categories of ad hoc staff to be deployed to the field.
He also revealed that sensitive and non-sensitive materials for the election have been delivered in the state, noting that voter education and sensitisation are ongoing.
“We have made arrangements for the movement of personnel and materials to all polling units on election day.
“The Commission has taken every step and made every arrangement for the election holding this weekend.”