The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC has mobilised over 700 staff members for the conclusion of the outstanding 2015 elections in Rivers on Saturday.
The INEC’s National Commissioner in charge of Edo, Bayelsa and Rivers states, May Agbamuche-Mbu, made this known on Thursday in Port Harcourt.
She said the election would hold in Etche Local Government Area to fill the Etche State Constituency II and Etche/Omuma Federal Constituency seats.
Agbamuche-Mbu described the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC)’s decline to participate in the election as unfortunate.
According to her, we always enjoyed having the young graduates coming to join us in the experience and INEC is a field job and sometimes, security is an issue.
”Etche has been actually quite violent over the years and we understand why they say they don’t want their staff to come this time around.
”But that notwithstanding, INEC has mobilised its staff and some staff from out of the state to join us and I am sure we are going to have a successful election,” she said.
Agbamuche-Mbu said that the commission was fully prepared to conduct the election as sensitive materials had already been brought into the state.
”Our card-readers are prepared, we are going to make sure they are charged, our ICT man has been working on them, charging them up.
”The card-readers are going to be in every polling unit and we have a back-up too; this is a small election compared to what INEC does, so we have no reason to fail,” she said.
Agbamuche-Mbu said that she was confident that the commission would have a better relationship with the police and other security agencies in assisting the people of Etche to succeed too.
She urged the people of Etche to come out en masse with confidence to cast their vote for the candidate of their choice, assuring them that INEC is not partisan.
”We have no reason to be partisan and we have been drumming it into our staff that they must act ethically and professionally,” she said.
On any measures against compromising officials, Agbamuche-Mbu said she is in the disciplinary committee of INEC and know how the commission disciplined those who were involved in 2015 elections.
”And trust me, our staff know that this time around, any staff that is found wanting will pay a price,” she said.
”The people of Etche want the election to take place and I sincerely do believe that they are peaceful and will show Nigerians how peaceful they are on Saturday.