The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), on Tuesday, dismissed allegations levelled against its resident electoral commissioners and other officials by politicians as ”mere distractions.”
The INEC chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, said this after the swearing-in of a new REC from Osun State, Tella Rahman, at the commission’s headquarters in Abuja, according to a report by PUNCH.
The chairman was reacting to a statement credited to the Chairman of Edo State APC Media Campaign Council, John Mayaki, accusing the Akwa Ibom State REC, Mike Igini, of plotting to rig the governorship election in Edo in favour of the state’s ruling PDP.
Mr Igini had in a statement on Monday described the allegation as needless and malicious.
He said, ”Let me state without any shadow of a doubt to those characters, who made this atrocious allegation that I had meetings with political actors where anti-democratic schemes were discussed, I have not met Gov. Obaseki since he was sworn into office up until the moment of the press statement in contention.”
In his reaction, Mr Yakubu said such allegations were not new to the commission given the kind of job it does especially during an election season.
Mr Yakubu promised free, fair, and credible elections ahead of the Edo and Ondo states governorship polls scheduled for September 19 and October 10 respectively.
He said, “Let me say this that we stand by our resident electoral commissioners. You know the kind of job we are doing; all manners of people come with all manners of accusations to slander officials of the commission to divert our attention from the onerous task of conducting elections in Nigeria.”
“We won’t be distracted. We know all these shenanigans, people have been doing this to distract us from doing what is right.
”My assurance to the people of Edo and Ondo states and the people of the 14 constituencies where we are going to conduct bye-elections on October 31 is that they should expect from INEC free, fair, credible elections, professional conduct,” he said.