The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Monday reassured Nigerians that its allegiance and loyalists are to Nigerians in the 2023 general elections, warning staff against compromise.
The INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, gave this assurance at the opening of a two-day Induction Retreat for the commission’s Administrative Secretaries in Lagos.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the retreat is organised by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
In his opening remarks, Yakubu, who was represented by Mr Sam Olumekun, the INEC National Commissioner, Election and Party Monitoring Committee (EPMC) said the retreat was part of the preparation of INEC for the 2023 general elections.
According to him, over the last 23 years since the return of democratic rule, the commission has recorded steady progress with the nation’s elections getting better and citizens’ confidence in the process increasing.
“Let me repeat once again that the Commission’s allegiance is to Nigeria. Our loyalty is to Nigerians who want free, fair, credible and verifiable elections.
“It is in this respect that I want to warn all members of staff of the commission to be neutral and professional in their conduct during the forthcoming election, ” Yakubu said.
He said that since the 2011 general elections, the reliance on new knowledge and experience gathered from the conduct of previous elections, enhancing electoral integrity and improving voter experience through innovations, planning and technology had guided INEC through several elections.
“Consequently, our elections have become better, electoral outcomes less contentious and less stressful, ” he added.