INEC assures level playing ground for all parties in Bayelsa
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), in Bayelsa on Sunday assured fair treatment to all parties participating in the forth coming polls in the state.
Mr Timidi Wariowei, Head of Department of Voter Education/ Publicity, gave assurance in Yenagoa.
He said theCommission had concluded arrangements to ensure the 2019 elections were conducted in a free, fair and credible manner in the state.
The officer said that INEC remained irrevocably committed to credible polls.
He also assured all political parties would be treated equally of zero tolerance.
‘’There is no room for partiality or favouritism,” he said.
Wariowei, however, urged candidates to play politics by the rules, by adhering to the commission’s guidelines and above all, check the excesses of their loyalists and supporters.
He explained that the Commission would not tolerate political thuggery, violence and arson.
‘’Candidates of various political parties must learn to be decorum in line with INEC guidelines, as unruly behaviour will be unacceptable and be sanctioned.”
He further warned against ballot box stuffing, snatching amongst other irregularities, adding that security agencies would be fully alert to arrest perpetrators.
Wariowei, advised those that had not collected their Permanent Voters Card (PVC) to do so before the polls.
According to him, INEC will assist those in the coastal settlements who are unable to collect their PVC owing huge cost of water transportation by making PVC available in such communities.
‘’We realise the challenge that people face with huge transportation cost to access their PVC in the rural councils.
“When coming to claim their cards, we request them to bring either temporary voters cards or passport photographs.
“If the PVC is misplaced, we will ask for for proper identification and attestation as stipulated by the national office of the commission.”
Wariowei said recruitment and training of INEC staff for the general elections was underway.
According to him Polling Officers, Returning Officers, Security Officers and other categories of adhoc, comprising youth corps members will be trained soon in readiness for the exercise.
Wariowei explained that the commission was embarking on sensitisation campaigns to further inform political parties, candidates and staff about election guidelines.