Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC) has reiterated its commitment to the conduct of credible election in Anambra state in the forthcoming election taking place on the 16th, November, 2021, other bye-elections in the country and the 2023 general election.
This was made known by the Commission’s Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, during the one day sensitization program organized by members of the INEC Press Corps in Abuja.
The chairman who was represented by Barrister Festus Okoye the national Commissioner and chairman, Information and Voters Education Committee, said that, the Commission is determined to conduct a good election in Anambra State and other upcoming election has all its processes and procedures geared and targeted at achieving this objective.
“We assure the people of Anambra State and indeed all Nigerians that the votes of the people will be the only determinant of leadership succession in Anambra State”.
“We therefore appeal to all the critical stakeholders to rally round the Commission and give their maximum cooperation towards this goal. The Commission needs a safe and secure environment for efficient and professional deployment of staff and materials”.
On the issue of security, the chairman said that, the Commission is fully aware of the fluid security situation in Anambra State and different parts of the country and will continue to work with the Inter Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security at the National, State and Local Governments towards securing the electoral environment.
“The voters must be assured of their security and must feel confident approaching the polling units to exercise their democratic franchise. We must also realize that the responsibility of the Commission is to organize, undertake and supervise elections within the context and ambit of the Constitution. Section 178 of the Constitution has circumscribed the period for the conduct of governorship elections and this period is cast in stone and immovable.
“We must do all that is constitutionally and legally possible to avoid the constitutional challenge that may likely ensue in the State if the Commission is unable to conduct elections on account of security challenges. On our part, we are determined to conduct a good election in Anambra and in other parts of Nigeria. We shall not compromise on the conduct of a good election in any part of Nigeria”, he added.
He also noted that, “We must realize that young men and women doing their National Youth Service form the bulk of our Presiding Officers must be protected as some of them are the only sons and daughters of their parents. Some of them graduated from school through determined perseverance in the face of hardship. Some of them are the products of community effort while some of them did menial jobs to graduate. We therefore have a responsibility to protect them in the performance of this national assignment. No form of insurance can cover for the loss of one life and the Commission will on no account compromise on the safety and welfare of these individuals and all other staff that will be deployed for the election”.
While congratulating the INEC Press Corp for organizing this program, Yakubu stated that the program is timely and germane considering the fact that the Governorship election in Anambra State is a few weeks away. This program and its outcome will no doubt point a clear pathway for the smooth and successful conduct of the said election.