The Independent National Electoral Commission INEC in Gombe today administered oath of neutrality for all ad-hoc staff in the state, an effort which it said was to demonstrate its commitment to conduct credible elections that are devoid of bias and sentiment.
INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner Barr Kasim Gaidam stated while addressing electoral officers in Gombe, Yesterday, that INEC in Gombe was not only interested conducting credible elections but to also ensure that all electoral staff have conduct themselves in good manners with a high sense of neutrality while discharging their duties during the electoral process.
“We are demonstrating INEC commitment to conduct free and fair elections. We are interested in ensuring that we conduct ourselves in a manner expected of people conducting elections, we are supposed to conduct ourselves as good empires. By doing this we are sending signal not only to our staff in the local governments but to everybody” he expressed.
According to him, the commission will not relent in its effort to conduct free,fair, and credible elections in the state. Adding that INEC in the state was conducting the oath exercise as pioneer state to administer oath of neutrality in the country, believing that other states will adapt.
Commissioner of oath,Chief Magistrate Yusuf Idi Saluk also told journalists in an interview that, such exercise would go a long way in ensuring strict adherence to the constitutional law as well as the electoral act. According to him, the code of neutrality is binding and weighty on all INEC staff.
He expressed that the exercise will serve as a step forward to achieving international standards and recognised practices in conduct of elections in the country. Even as he said, the oath was meant to remind all electoral officers the need to conduct themselves properly and in neutrality. “Any crisis with the allegation of bias will be completely eroded.” He said.
He added that, penalty for any violation to the oath, and the rule of electoral law, will be spelt by law, as there is no law that does not attract. Sanction in the court of law.
Meanwhile, Federal Commissioner INEC Dr Nura Yakubu who was in Gombe to inspect the ongoing training of electoral officers has expressed that INEC is optimistic and committed to conduct credible elections in the country.
Yakubu who said the electoral commission is currently working hard to ensure that elections are held on stipulated dates, also expressed satisfaction on the level of preparedness of the electoral officers in the state.