The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has been called to be neutral and ensure free, fair and credible elections in 2019.
Governor, Alhaji Atiku Bagudu made the call when the new Kebbi State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Alhaji Ahmed Bello paid him a courtesy visit in Birnin Kebbi on Tuesday.
“Election can only be free and fair if INEC allows electorate to choose their leaders, and remains umpire in doing the right thing required in the election processes,” he said.
Governor Bagudu urged the new REC and INEC not to bow to pressure from politicians to circumvent the process, to ensure credible, free and fair elections.
Trading neutral ground
He called on Alhaji Bello to trade on the path of neutrality as witnessed in 2015 elections and guard against electoral anomalies.
“The role played by INEC in 2015 Nigeria’s elections minimised court litigations as witnessed in the 2011 elections and preceding ones.
“We have an unreserved commitment to achieving INEC’s mandate within the confines of the law,” Governor Bagudu stated.
Commitment to free poll
The new INEC commissioner assured the governor that the commission would conduct free and credible elections in Kebbi State.
“I have come here to formally introduce myself as the new INEC commissioner and seek the cooperation of the state government being a critical stakeholder in the operation of the commission,” Alhaji Bello explained.
He also sought the cooperation of other stakeholders to make the exercise free, fair and credible.
“Our success will only be possible if all the stakeholders cooperate with the INEC, especially the security agencies, political parties, traditional and religious leaders,” Alhaji Bello said.
The REC called on those who had not collected their Permanent Voter Card, PVCs to do so, and those who are yet to register to also do so, to enable them exercise their franchise in the 2019 general elections.