The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Tuesday said that oaths of loyalty and neutrality would be administered on the 12, 983 electoral officials for the November 21 Kogi governorship election.
The officials comprise 2,548 youth corps members that would serve as ad-hoc staff and permanent staff of the commission in an election for which 1, 397,313 voters are expected and 2,383 multiple registrants deleted from the register.
Mahmud Yakubu, the INEC Chairman said the oaths were to ensure that the officials perform their duties impartially and in the best interest of the nation without gratifications.
“ The commission will hold them bound by this and will vigorously enforce the provisions of the Electoral Act, especially, as they relate to the prosecution of all who infringe its provisions,’’ Yakubu said.
The INEC boss at a stakeholders meeting comprising representatives of political parties, civil society groups and others, said that all electoral officials would be invited to a meeting where they would be further warned of the “ consequences for misbehaviours’’.
According to him, INEC is committed to deliver a credible and acceptable election in line with the principles of equity, justice and fair play.
He promised deployment of adequate logistics would be deployed for the election while non-sensitive materials had been moved to the INEC offices in local governments and the sensitive ones in the custody of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
The INEC boss added that no less than 3,018 card readers that would be used had been checked, tested, configured and ready for deployment and that only electorate with the permanent voter cards would be allowed to vote on that day.
On timely commencement of voting, he assured that all precautions had been taken to ensure that voting commences at 8 a.m., on the day of election as he pointed out that the commission would not condone excuses relating to late arrival of materials and personnel.
According to him, three federal commissioners and 11 resident electoral commissioners will be on ground in the state to coordinate voting and ensure a successful conduct of the polls.
Others would take charge of the situation room at Abuja to monitor voting and collation of votes at the various centres electronically, he said.
Halilu Pai, the state Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), said that 1, 397,313 voters would participate in the election while 2,383 multiple registrants had been deleted from the register.
Pai, however, identified do-or-die attitude of politicians as the major threat to the peaceful conduct of the elections.
He also warned politicians whom he alleged had engaged some youths to perpetrate violence and electoral malpractices in the political process and on Election Day to desist from it.
He said that such developments had been brought to the notice of the police.
Pai also reminded candidates and their political parties that electioneering ends at the midnight of Nov. 19.
He said that INEC had entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the National Union of Road Transport Workers, commercial motorcycles and boat operators.
The MoU is to ensure a smooth and timely delivery of materials, officials and security agents at the various polling units, he said.