The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has sworn-in Dr Tella Rahmon as a Resident Electoral Commissioner.
INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, speaking at the brief swearing-in ceremony in Abuja on Tuesday, said Rahmon would be deployed to Ekiti as state REC.
Yakubu advised the new REC to be firm and prudent in discharging his responsibilities and the management of resource under his watch.
“The only business that the commission knows is conducting elections. You are going to be responsible for managing resources and personnel in the state you are going to be deployed to.
“You should be firm and always mindful of the fact that ours is an onerous responsibility and you must always be on the side of the Electoral Act, our guidelines and regulations, and above all the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“The policy of the commission at the moment is to deploy RECs to their geopolitical zones but on no account will they serve in their states of origin, not even deployment to assist the sitting RECs in their states of origin.
“You are hereby deployed to Ekiti as the REC,” he said.
Yakubu, fielding questions from newsmen on the allegations against, Mr Mike Igini, INEC REC for Akwa-Ibom, said that the commission would not be distracted by baseless allegations.
He said that Igini had already responded to the allegation and he directed his lawyers to initiate legal actions against the person who made the allegation.
“Let me also say this, we stand by our REC. We know the kind of job we are doing.
“On the eve of elections all manner of people come with all manner of accusations to slander officials of the commission and essentially to divert our attention from the onerous task of conducting elections in the country.
“We will not be distracted. We know all these shenanigans; people have been doing this for a long time. It will not distract us from doing what is right.
“My assurance to the people of Edo and the people of Ondo and then the people of the 13 constituencies where we are going to conduct by-elections on Oct. 31, is that they should expect from INEC free, fair and credible elections, professional conduct.
“We will not compromise our Oath of Office for any reason. Whoever the people vote for becomes their governor or representative. This is our assurance to Nigerians,” he said.
Yakubu said that the commission was making good progress in its preparations for Edo and Ondo states governorship elections.
On activities of political actors in Edo, Yakubu said INEC was concerned and was leaving no stone unturned in speaking to the political actors.
In his remarks, Rahmon appreciated President Muhammadu Buhari and Yabubu for his consideration to serve as REC, saying I consider it a great privilege.
He pledged to follow laid down rules, INEC guidelines, the Electoral Act and the Constitution of the country in the discharge of his duties.