The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has assured political parties of its stand to be neutral and apolitical on the conduct of the forth coming Bye elections for Bayelsa West and Central Senatorial Districts.
Acting Chairman of INEC, AVM Ahmed Muazu (retd) gave the assurance at a stakeholders meeting in preparatory for the Bayelsa West and Central Districts Bye elections in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.
According to him, INEC has always being neutral and will never take sides with any political party, noting that as electoral umpire charged with the constitutional responsibility to conduct elections in the country it credibility and integrity is at stake.
He reiterated the committment of the Commission to ensure that there is transparency and accountability in the electoral process while constantly improving on the processes and procedures to achieve a free, fair and violent free polls.
Muazu said the Bayelsa Central Senatorial Bye election will be conducted in three LGAs with 860 pulling units involving a total of 418,109 Registered Voters and a total of 395, 554 Permanent Voters Cards collected as the Commission will be deploying 3589 election staff.
In the same vein, the Bayelsa West Senatorial Bye election will be conducted in two LGAs with 410 pulling units involving a total of 234, 649 Registered Voters with a total of 229,022 Permanent Voters Cards collected, deploying 1716 election staff.
The Commission while urging all relevant stakeholders to be law abiding assured that in all elections the voters will ultimately be a determining factor in the process of electing political leaders and promised to provide adequate security at the voting centres as well as the collation centres.
Also speaking, the Commissioner in Charge of Bayelsa, Rivers and Edo, May Agbamuche Mbu said the Bye elections into the Bayelsa Central and West Senatorial Districts is neccesitated by the resignation of the elected senators due to their election as Governor and Deputy Governor of Bayelsa State.
Mbu stated that twelve political parties met the constitutional requirements to run for the Bye elections after a successful conduct of party primaries and submission of candidates particulars in compliance to the electoral laws.
On his part, Bayelsa State Commissioner of Police, CP Mike Okoli called on political party candidates to rein on there supporters to eshew violence, warning that the Command will deal decisively with anyone that want to scuttle the electoral process.