Gov. Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa State has charged the state’s Independent Electoral Commission (NASIEC) to be impartial in the conduct of Local Government election slated for October 6, in the state.
Sule gave the charge on Wednesday at the unveiling of the NASIEC Regulations, 2021, in Lafia.
He charged the commission to live above board in its regulation in order to exercise its independence and earn the confidence of all and sundry.
“As an electoral body, the commission must exercise neutrality and objectivity in the conduct of its statutory mandate.
“The commission must not align itself with any political party, candidate or interest no matter the odds in the forthcoming and subsequent elections,”he said.
He assured that government would oblige the logistics requirements put forward by the commission which brought about the NASIEC Regulations 2021.
“I believe that the presentation of the NASIEC Regulations 2021, today, is in furtherance of the commission’s determination to ensure the conduct of a credible election in line with the global best practice.
“This grundnorm document will regulate the conduct of election, operations and other internal mechanism necessary for the enhancement of the independence of the Nasarawa State Independent Electoral Commission.
“I am also aware that the NASIEC Regulations, 2021 contain an organised structure of the commission, which will pave way for efficient and effective service delivery,”he said.
Sule, however, added that in approving the NASIEC Regulations, 2021, his administration took into cognisance the onerous responsibilities of the electoral umpire and ensured that it did not conflict with the powers conferred on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) by the 1999 Constitution (as amended) and the provision of the electoral law.
The government also urged the people to ensure that they elected credible and competent leaders that would add value to governance at the local government level.
Earlier, Alhaji Ayuba Wandai-Usman, Chairman of NASIEC, commended the state governor for his support in ensuring the commission come up with the NASIEC Regulations, 2021.
He said the commission was able to document the set of rules in the commission’s efforts to put in place procedures, rules and structures that would enable it adequately and seamlessly discharge it’s statutory mandate.
“In documenting the rules of procedure, the commission took into cognisance the responsibility of an election management body and the need to have a set of rules that will galvanize members and staff of the commission that will work in unison.
“They will collectively target set goals towards making the commission conduct its affairs in tune with modern techniques that will guarantee free, fair and credible elections,” he said.
He added that with the NASIEC Regulations 2021 in place, the commission was poised to deliver on its mandate of delivering a free and fair local government election on October 6.
“The commission in line with its statutory mandate has consulted political parties, released notice of elections and a timeline of activities leading to the conduct of the election.
“In addition, in its desire for a peaceful conduct of the election, we sought collaboration from all critical stakeholders,” he said.
In his remarks, Dr Uthman Ajidagba, INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner in the state commended the state electoral body for the steps taken to conduct the forthcoming local government polls.
Ajidagba represented by Hajiya Hauwa Kaigiwa, INEC’s Administrative Secretary in the state, assured that the commission would support NASIEC to deliver on its mandate of conducting credible polls in the state.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that representatives of European Center For Electoral Support (ECES), Forum for State Independent Electoral Commissions in Nigeria (FOSIECON) and Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC), Nasarawa state attended the programme.
They all lauded NASIEC for coming up with the NASIEC Regulations 2021 document and pledged to support it to conduct a free, fair and credible local government election on October 6.