INEC Defies Controversy, Insists REC Will Conduct Imo Guber Election

by admin

Amidst a whirlwind of controversy and fervent demands for the removal of Imo State’s Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Prof Sylvia Agu, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has insisted that she will remain in her position and conduct Saturday’s governorship election in the State.

With the electoral landscape in the state awash with allegations and suspicions, INEC refuses to waver, citing a lack of concrete evidence to justify the REC’s removal.

In a recent appearance on Channels Television’s “Politics Today,” Rotimi Oyekanmi, Chief Press Secretary to INEC Chairman, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, defended the Commission’s stance with firm conviction.

He asserted, “We don’t have any reason to remove her from there, and we don’t have any evidence that implicates her or proves any allegation at this time.”

Oyekanmi underscored INEC’s dedication to its responsibilities, particularly ensuring the integrity and fairness of the electoral process.

While acknowledging the importance of addressing complaints against INEC officers, he stressed the need for evidence to substantiate allegations.

Oyekanmi highlighted that disciplinary actions had been taken against RECs in Abia, Sokoto, and Adamawa states during previous general elections when they transgressed the commission’s provisions.

The controversy surrounding Imo State governorship election scheduled to hold on Saturday was further exacerbated by the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Kayode Egbetokun’s decision to redeploy Mohammed Barde as the Commissioner of Police in Imo State.

This move, grounded in the pursuit of neutrality, came in response to Organized Labour’s demands, accusing Barde of complicity in an attack on the President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Joe Ajaero.

Days later, tensions flared during a stakeholders’ meeting organized by INEC when candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Labour Party (LP) staged a walkout.

Their demand was unequivocal: the immediate redeployment of Prof Sylvia Agu.

However, INEC’s unwavering stance remained resolute.

Oyekanmi reiterated, “As far as we are concerned, we haven’t seen anything to implicate the Resident Electoral Commissioner for Imo State.”

In an effort to fortify the integrity of the upcoming governorship elections scheduled for November 11, 2023, INEC has dispatched nine additional RECs and two national commissioners to each of the three states: Imo, Bayelsa, and Kogi.

A formidable workforce comprising 46,000 commission staff has been assembled, ensuring that all hands are on deck for a smooth electoral process.

Essential materials, including the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) machines, have been painstakingly delivered to the respective states, bolstering the readiness of the electoral commission.

Oyekanmi emphasized the reliability of security agencies and assured voters that the Result Viewing Portal (IReV) would operate seamlessly on Election Day, mitigating doubts and concerns.

The upcoming governorship elections in Imo, Bayelsa, and Kogi bear immense significance, as incumbent and formidable contenders vie for the public’s mandate.

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