Festus Okoye, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) National Commissioner in-charge of Enugu/Anambra/Benue states, has warned that the commission would not tolerate the killing or injuring of its ad hoc staff, especially the corps members during the gubernatorial poll.
Okoye stated this while speaking with journalists on the preparedness of the commission for the governorship and state House of Assembly elections coming up on Saturday.
He said, “We will not tolerate maiming, killing or injury of our ad-hoc staff, who might be corps members serving their fatherland.
“We have discussed with the Inspector-General of Police to ensure that all our staff members, including the ad hoc staff, are given adequate protection from violent attacks during the polls.
“The commission will protect its own with every passion and means it can muster,’’ he said.
Okoye gave assurance that there would be uniform timing in the commencement of Saturday’s governorship and state Assembly elections nationwide.
He said that there would be full deployment of the smart card readers nationwide.
According to him, the commission was ready to conduct free, fair and credible elections, adding that it had fine-tuned the loose ends that were encountered during the Presidential and National Assembly polls.
“This time around, we want to ensure that each polling unit in the federation starts the process at 8 a.m. dot on the day of the elections.
“So we want to make sure that all our ad hoc staff and materials got to the polling units before 7.30 a.m. And the usage of the smart card readers will be universal in all the polling units.
“Any polling unit where the people or political thugs did not allow the presiding officer to use the smart card reader will get zero vote,” he said.