Chris Steven, Abuja
Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Professor Mahmoud Yakubu has said the Commission will not deploy the military for electoral duties in the forth coming governorship elections in Kogi and Bayelsa states.
Professor Yakubu stated this in Abuja during an inaugural working visit to the House of Representatives Committee on Electoral and Political Parties Matters at the National Assembly.
The INEC chairman who said that the Police and men of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) will be enough to provide security during the elections also assured the lawmakers that the peace agreement signed by stakeholders in the affected states will be used as an oath of commitment to compel them to whip their supporters in line.
He added that the Commission is fully ready to conduct a peaceful, credible and transparent election in Kogi and Bayelsa.
“We have set up different security committees to police election in these affected states. At the state level, the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) chairs the committee and is deputised by the Commissioner of police. At the local government level, it is chaired by the Local government Electoral Officer (LGEO) and deputised by the Divisional Police Officer (DPO).
“So for the Kogi and Bayelsa elections, INEC is fully ready. Last week, the stakeholders signed a peace accord towards ensuring a peaceful conduct of the polls.
“We will do everything withing our powers to protect the sanctity of the votes. Whatever the people decide will be the outcome as far as INEC is concerned”, he said.
He reiterated the commission’s commitment towards building on the legacies left by the fomer chairman, adding that Nigerians expect nothing less than a process better than that of the 2015 general elections.
“The immediate past leadership of INEC left a very enviable legacy and we intend to build on that. If anything, we should be doing better than what we had been handed down through improvement of the process and the main conduct of polls.
“There technical issues we are taking care of to ensure that there is no multiple voting by anybody because the card readers are polling booth specifics, which rules out the possibility of people voting in more than one polling booth.
“We have made effort to achieve e-collection and e-transmission of results as that will be the only way out of any foreseeable or unforeseeable election malpratice”, Prof. Yakubu said.
Earlier, the Committee Chairperson, Hon. Aishatu Jibrin Dukku while commending the commission for a job well done in the conduct of the 2015 general where the opposition party won the Presidential elections for the first time also called on the new team to better the electoral processes in the country.
She informed the INEC chairman and his team of the committee’s areas of purview which include monitoring the implementation of the Electoral Act and all electoral processes in the country and report periodically for legislative actions and remedy.
Hon. Dukku who assured the commission of the Committee’s support with regards to legislative inputs that would better the operations of the Commission.