SOME stakeholders in Ilorin, Kwara have tasked the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and security agencies to be apolitical and unbiased during the general elections.
The stakeholders made the call on Wednesday in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) ahead of Saturday’s Presidential and National Assembly elections.
Dr Abdulrasaq Adisa, a lecturer in the Department of Mass Communication, University of Ilorin, said that the call became necessary due to concerns by a section of Nigerians and the international community over the electoral umpire’s neutrality.
According to him, it behoves on INEC to try as much as possible to be neutral, tidy up all gaps in the areas of card readers’ functionality and prompt availability of electoral materials.
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He stressed the need for INEC to warn the National Youths Service Corps (NYSC) ad -hoc staff to jealously follow the guideline of the election in the course of their duty.
The don also urged security agencies to be professional and avoid being used as political mercenaries.
He cautioned the electorates against vote selling, stressing the need for them not to give in to politicians who would want to buy their votes.
Mr Quasim Adenekan, a lecturer in the Department of Performing Arts, Bayero University, Kano stressed the need for the electoral umpire and the security agencies to perform their constitutional responsibilities without fear and favour.
Adenekan urged INEC to discharge its constitutional duties without bias or favour, pointing out that the electoral umpire must conduct an election that would be generally acceptable.
Similarly, an Abuja based legal practitioner, Mr Muhammed Adelodun, advised INEC to live up to its mandate and be truly an independent umpire.
Adelodun stressed the need for the electoral umpire to be systemic and competent in making sure that votes of the electorate counted during the polls.
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