The Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, has reminded the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, and the security agencies that they would bear both the blame and praise in the conduct of the 2019 general elections, admonishing them to exhibit the highest sense of patriotism and professionalism.
Ekweremadu gave the admonition while speaking with journalists at the Enugu West Peoples Democratic Party, PDP Mega rally held in Agwu, Enugu State, ahead of the Saturday election.
He said: “I believe that the INEC will be able to conduct a free and fair elections if they follow the rules. They have said that several times. But they also have to understand that, as the President would say, the world is also watching us. At the end of the day, it is the INEC that will be on trial. It is their chairman that will be on trial. If anything goes wrong, he will be held responsible. If it goes well, he will take all the credit.
“We have come a long way as a country. We have tried to freshen up our electoral processes through some legislative efforts. We have amended the constitution severally in order to get the best practices. But no matter the quantum of laws we have made, the important thing is for INEC to live up to expectations to get their people to do the correct thing whether you are ad hoc staff or you are a permanent staff of INEC. Ultimately they will answer for their conduct”.
The lawmaker said it was also up to the security agencies to live up to their several promises of neutrality, professional conduct, and protection of INEC, electoral materials and voters.
“We have heard their promises. We will give them benefit of doubt. But they must have to remember that in 2015, some people allegedly compromised their positions and many of them lost their jobs. To compromise yourself because of one politician that choses to be fraudulent is not worth it. Then, you would have compromised your career and family.
“They (security agents) must realise that there will be a day or days after the elections. Whatever you do, you will also answer for your conduct.
“Importantly too, I believe that the best judge of human conduct is your conscience. I appeal to them to be conscientious and professional because we are going to tell the story after Saturday in terms of who did what and eventually blames will come and praises will as well”, he added.
He tipped the PDP to record a landslide victory in Enugu, but called for vigilance.
“Because Enugu is basically PDP we are not expecting any problem. We just expect that people will move very early to the polling stations, stay there for the arrival of the voting materials, crosscheck the materials to ensure that all necessary materials are there, and then commence the process of accreditation and voting.
“After voting they should remain there and wait until the end and of course to watch the votes collated and results announced before they leave. They will not only take copies, but also take pictures of the results and be able to circulate as widely as possible. With that I am sure that they will be able have control of what happens. Eternal vigilance”, he concluded.
The mega rally turned a carnival as popular Nigerian musical artistes, including Davido, Flavour, Zoro, Quincy, Nigga Raw, among others thrilled the mammoth crowd and dignitaries such the Governor of Enugu State, Rt. Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwunayi.