By Umar Yusuf
YOLA—Ahead of the re-rescheduled presidential and National Assembly elections fixed for this Saturday, Adamawa State office of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has administered an oath of neutrality on its staff.
Resident Electoral Commissioner, REC, in-charge of the state, Kassim Gaidam, before administering the oath in his office, noted that the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) made it mandatory for all staff both employed and appointed by INEC for the conduct of an election to affirm or swear before the high court, an oath of neutrality.
He said “We are gathered here today to administer this oath on me, management, electoral officers and other staff of INEC in Adamawa State office. A similar ceremony will be carried out for ad hoc staff at their respective local government areas of posting.
“INEC shall endeavour to conduct the 2019 general election in the most efficient and professional manner, based on global best practices.
“INEC is solely interested in ensuring due process in the election and is not concerned with who emerges winner provided the mandate of the people is guaranteed and reflected in the outcome.”
Gaidam noted that INEC should avoid and resist external interference or influence in the conduct of the elections stressing that the commission would be transparent, adding “the commission shall be equitable in dealing with all stakeholders and shall strive to create a level playing field for all contestants.
“As you are all aware, the presidential and national assembly election will now hold on February 23, 2019, while the governorship and state houses of assembly election will hold on March 9, 2019.
“May I, therefore, seize this opportunity to convey our sincere apologies to all residents of the state on the rescheduling of the elections, which no doubt caused untold hardship.”