The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mahmood Yakubu, has said that the commission does not have a preferred candidate in the upcoming governorship elections in Bayelsa, Kogi, and Imo States, scheduled for Saturday.
Yakubu reiterated that INEC is not affiliated with any political party and, therefore, does not endorse any candidate in these three-state elections. In a message issued on Friday, he cautioned INEC staff against any interference in the electoral process and stressed the importance of allowing the voters to make their choices for the governorship positions.
Furthermore, Yakubu noted that a total of 5,169,692 Nigerians who have obtained their permanent voters’ cards (PVCs) are expected to participate in these elections.
He pointed out the historical significance of holding these elections simultaneously across three different geopolitical zones of the country for the first time.
READ ALSO: Poll: INEC Distributes Materials, Deploys Staff for Kogi Governorship Election
Yakubu called on all INEC officials, both regular and ad hoc, to demonstrate unwavering patriotism and professionalism in the execution of their duties during these elections.
He reiterated that INEC, as an institution, does not align with any political party and does not field any candidate in the elections, as he had previously emphasized during readiness assessment visits to the three states.
“Our responsibility is to safeguard the process and ensure a level playing field for all political parties and candidates. The choice of who becomes the Governor of Bayelsa, Imo and Kogi States is entirely in the hands of voters.
“Polling Unit results will be uploaded to the INEC Result Viewing (IReV) portal. All election-duty officials have been trained.
“Arrangements have been made for land and maritime transportation to enable us to commence voting on schedule.
“In spite of the extremely difficult terrain and physical infrastructure in some locations, we are determined to ensure that our officials are there waiting for voters rather than the voters waiting for our arrival.”