Ahead of next weekend governorship election in Edo State, the Independent National Electoral Commissions (INEC) has again assured that nothing would be left undone to ensure the transparency of the process.
A source at the Commission gave the commitment in a session with select journalists in Abuja.
He revealed that five Residents Electoral Commissioners, (RECs), outside the South-south states, would be on the ground for the election. They will be complemented by three National Commissioners from the INEC headquarters in Abuja.
He noted that 12, out of the 15 scheduled for the election have since been completed.
He disclosed that there have been assurances from security agencies to forestall incidences of violence, but he did not foreclose it. The source singled out Edo North out of the three senatorial districts as the possible flashpoint of violence in the forthcoming election.
He further disclosed that the National Peace Committee led by General Abdulsalami Abubakar would be in Benin City, the Edo State capital on Tuesday to commit the 14 political parties that would be fielding candidates to a peace deal.
He said: “INEC is prepared for the Edo governorship election. So far, we have successfully implemented 12 out of 14 activities for the poll and no item was shifted. The remaining issues are the last day of the campaign and the conduct of the election.
“We are so committed to the poll, there will be no postponement. The same law that says we should withdraw where there is violence or where we anticipate violence also mandates us to go back to complete the process when calmness is restored.
“Five RECs, representing each of the six geopolitical zones, except South-South, and three National Commissioners are moving to Edo. The INEC chairman will join them on Saturday to put things in shape for the election.
“The deployment of commissioners is to ensure transparency of the process. The three National Commissioners will be in charge of the three Senatorial Districts in the state.
“No National Commissioner or REC from Edo State will participate in the election in the state.”
On the controversy trailing alleged compromise by the Resident Electoral Commissioner in Akwa Ibom state, Mike Iginni, the source maintained that no REC from the South-south state would be part of the process in Edo state.
He dismissed the fear raised by the ruling APC as he noted that “the REC has no say in election results, it is the Returning Officer and that’s why once he makes a pronouncement, only the court of law can reverse it.
“We have worked with Iginni for five years, he is uncompromising and a section of politicians don’t like him for the way he conducts his work. They get worried because the right thing will be done.
“Look, anywhere there is pressure for the deployment of REC, look at the source. So, they keep putting pressure when REC doesn’t compromise. They always put pressure but they don’t have genuine reason to justify the alarm they always raise on the eve of an election. They are pushing for Iginn’i removal, not because he does things untoward but because he won’t compromise. I can vouch for the RECs that I am working with.
“For me, Mike Iginni is a factor because there are very few politicians that believe in free and fair elections. ”
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