Ondo State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (SAN), has advocated for absolute neutrality in the conduct of all elections by the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC).
He gave the advice in Akure during a courtesy visit by the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Ondo State, Dr Rufus Akeju.
He said nothing should be allowed to stand between the independence of the electoral body and fair play during elections.
The governor also called on INEC to ensure a level playing ground for all political parties in the forthcoming general elections.
"This will go a long way to create trust and believability in the electoral body by Nigerians," he said.
Akeredolu explained that when each political party is treated without fear or favour, the nation's democracy would compete favourably with what is obtainable in the developed nations.
The governor, who recognised the various development in the commission and political scenario in the country, also encouraged the electorate and political parties to cooperate with INEC with a view to achieving a hitch-free polls in 2019.
Akeredolu, who stressed the importance of INEC to the electoral growth of the state, enjoined the REC to go about his duties with integrity, truth and conscience so as not to betray the trust of the people and the electoral body.
He further assured the commission of his readiness to partner with them towards ensuring that their major objectives and service to the people were achieved.
Earlier, Dr Rufus Akeju, REC, INEC, Ondo State, said his visit became imperative to familiarise himself with the present administration to aid the discharge of his duties according to the law.
He explained the priority of INEC was to ensure that peoples' votes counted to achieve a better society.
Akeju further assured the citizens and especially political parties, of a level playing ground and urged intending aspirants not to be discouraged, noting that INEC would leave no stone unturned to sustain democracy.
He said his door was open to any political party for knowledge on the conduct of the election, and emphasised that there would be regular stakeholders meeting as the election drew near, to sensitize stakeholders and seek their support towards a hitch-free poll.
At the event were: Deputy Governor, Hon Agboola Ajayi, Chief of Staff to the Governor, Chief Olugbenga Ale, INEC Administrative Secretary in Ondo State, Alhaji Waheed Ganiyu, Head, General Administration and Procurement, INEC, Ondo State, Mr Obiefuna Nduka.
Others include; Head, Electoral Operation Department, Mr Tope Aina, Head, Legal Services Department, Barr Francis Lawal and Head, Voter Education and Publicity Department, Mr Olabimpe Awoniyi.