Benue State Government in North Central Nigeria says it will resist any form of rigging in the forthcoming general election.
Governor Samuel Ortom gave this indication in Makurdi at the swearing in of the reconstituted members of the Benue State Independent Electoral Commission, BESIEC.
The governor explained that the inauguration of the Commission was a further demonstration of his administration’s determination and resolve to deepen democracy through free and fair elections.
Our administration which believes in the rule of law and due process is taking this bold step to reconstitute the Commission in our belief that this is one of the best ways to promote democracy in our state, he said.
Represented by the State Deputy Governor, Benson Abounu, Ortom said the selection of members of the Commission was purely on merit and integrity and urged the Commission to put measures in place quickly to commence the process of new Local Government elections.
We charge you to conduct transparent, credible, free and fair local government elections even as we pledge to respect the verdict of the people. The integrity our electoral process and its reputation depends on your credibility too.
He charged the Commission to live above board and be seen to be transparent in all its dealings with candidates and the political parties.
According to the governor, the sins of electoral fraud are worse than corruption.
Anyone who declares someone that has failed in an election as a winner is guilty and should be treated as such. For this reason, no one who indulges in electoral fraud in Benue State will be allowed to go scout free.
The governor declared that the zero tolerance policy of his administration for corruption is non-negotiable.
We urge you not to compromise your integrity and not to divert resources deployed to the provision of services for the people into personal use. Anyone who tempts our resolve on this will have himself blame.
He acknowledged the challenges of the Commission but gave the assurance that government will do its best to provide the necessary support within available resources to facilitate delivery on the mandate of the Commission.
Government will support within its lean financial resources to encourage you to succeed in this all important assignment, he assured.
The Chairman of the Commission, Tersoo Loko thanked the governor for finding members of the Commission worthy to serve in that capacity.
He pledged that the Commission will not disappoint.
The members of the State Independent Electoral Commission whose tenure is for an initial period of four years are saddled with the conduct of all Local Government elections in the state.
Source: Voice of Nigeria