The Resident Electoral Commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the State of Osun, Dr. Mutiu Agboke, has described the recent attacks on the commission’s facilities in Osun and other parts of the country as a waste of taxpayers’ money.
This is just as he noted that INEC would easily adjust and bounce back irrespective of the attacks.
Agboke stated this during an interview after featuring on OSBC Current Affairs Program, The Nation, on Wednesday.
He said the commission remains neutral and independent and would provide a level playing ground for all political parties and candidates in accordance with the electoral laws.
The REC reassured Nigerians that the outcomes of 2023 geenral elections would be determined by peoples’ votes, saying the recent and continuous technological improvement in the electioneering process will make it hard for anybody to engage in any form of rigging.
Agboke stressed that the commission has begun series of sensitisation programmes and consultation to major stakeholders in order to ensure that the general election is hitch free, smooth and credible.
He said: “It is just about 100 days to the general election and I want to assure you that the commission is fully prepared. The recent attacks on the commission’s facilities in Osun and Ogun would not affect the commission from organising a credible, free and fair elections.
“No matter the attacks on INEC facilities, the commission would easily adjust and bounce back. The effect won’t be on INEC but the attackers should know that they are just wasting tax payers’ money. This is where we need to think deep and be wise.
“I urge all politicians to go to people with good manifestoes. The era of election rigging is over. The vote will determine election winner and there is no shortcut to that. Our politicians should also stay clear of vote buying because it is a criminal offence. We all have roles to play to bring sanity to our political system and all arm should be on the deck to make Nigeria great.”
Agboke described the attack on the INEC office in Ede as unfortunate, revealing that the inferno did not affect any of the commission’s sensitive or insensitive materials.
He however warned anybody or group of people who may be planning attack on any of the INEC offices or facilities to desist, saying law enforcement agents have been ordered to decisively deal with anybody culpable of the act.
The REC said: “I want to urge all parents to warn their children not to be used as instruments of destruction by politicians. We have resolved to crush anybody who makes any move to attack or destroy our facilities henceforth. What is important is for us to organise a credible platform for people to vote and the expectation from electorate is to vote for candidates of their choice. Any other plan to destabilise the process will not be tolerated.”