The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has reacted to several calls to remove the Resident Electoral Commission (REC) in Imo State, Prof Sylvia Agu.
OSUN DEFENDER recalls that there have been a series of calls for the removal of the Imo REC over alleged partisanship, which led to a walkout by some governorship candidates at a stakeholder meeting held on Tuesday in Owerri, the state capital.
During an appearance on Channels Television’s Politics Today programme on Wednesday, Rotimi Oyekanmi, the Chief Press Secretary to INEC Chairman, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, said there is no reason to remove Agu.
Oyeakanmi stated that the Commission has no evidence implicating the Imo REC or proving any allegation that she is being alleged of.”
He said: “The REC will conduct the election. 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 that is being alleged at this time.”
“The Commission takes its responsibility seriously, and we don’t joke with the conduct of elections, and when there are complaints against our officers, we also don’t joke with complaints, but you must provide evidence that our officers are culpable.”
Oyekanmi said the Commission took disciplinary actions against its RECs in Abia, Sokoto and Adamawa states during the general elections earlier in the year when they acted outside the provisions of the commission.
The spokesman for the INEC Chairman assured the political parties in the election that INEC would be fair and unbiased.
“The assurance we are giving to all political parties is that we are not going to allow any pandering towards any interest in this election; our interest is to conduct free, fair and credible elections,” he said.
He added that the electoral umpire has deployed nine additional RECs and two national commissioners to each state where governorship elections will be held on November 11, 2023.
The official also said 46,000 commission staff have been deployed to the three states. At the same time, sensitive and non-sensitive materials, including Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) machines, have been delivered in the three states.
Oyekanmi said there was no reason to doubt the capacity of security agencies, assuring voters in the three states that the Result Viewing Portal (IReV) would work on Saturday.
Sodiq Lawal is a passionate and dedicated journalist with a knack for uncovering captivating stories in the bustling metropolis of Osun State and Nigeria at large. He has a versatile reporting style, covering a wide range of topics, from politics , campus, and social issues to arts and culture, seeking impact in all facets of the society.