By Nimot Sulaimon and Taiwo Okanlawon
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has appealed to its staff including those on ad hoc services not to accord any advantage to a political party or candidate in the conduct of the Edo governorship election.
Professor Mahmood Yakubu, Chairman of INEC, in a statement issued on Friday, urged the staff to be neutral at all times and stick strictly to INEC’s Code of Conduct and Oath of Neutrality to which they all subscribed.
Yakubu also said that as INEC begins the final countdown to the Edo governorship election, it was clear that all eyes were on the INEC to deliver a free, fair, and credible process.
Yakubu said he had no doubt that INEC staff members would rise to the occasion, as the commission has conducted several elections before, expressing optimism that the staff would again rise up to the occasion.
He said, “As we begin the final countdown to the Edo Governorship Election, it is clear that all eyes are on the Independent National Electoral Commission to deliver a free, fair and credible process.
“I have no doubt that our staff members will rise to the occasion. We have done it several times before and we can do it again. The Commission deeply appreciates the never-ending sacrifices made by our staff at all times, often beyond the call of duty, to ensure that we carry out our mandate. The management will continue to improve the welfare and conditions of service of staff within the available resources.
“Let me appeal to all of you to remain steadfast and committed to the ideals of the Commission Nigerians and the international community expect so much from us. They are watching. It is important that we all remain above board in the performance of our respective duties.
“We must ensure that no political party or candidate is accorded any advantage over the other.
“We must be neutral at all times and stick strictly to our Code of Conduct and Oath of Neutrality to which we have all subscribed.
“For, at the end of the day, we would have all contributed to the sustenance of democracy and a strong electoral process that all Nigerians can trust. Thank you all for your efforts”, Yakubu said.