112 days to 2023 polls: INEC swears-in 19 RECs, warns them not to be visitors to Government Houses

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BY BENEDICT NWACHUKWU, ABUJA

Uba Group

The National Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Mahmood Yakubu, on Thursday swore-in 19 Resident Electoral Commissioners charging them to be transparent and credible in carrying out their duties in the forthcoming general election next year.

Yakubu told the RECs that the Commission has worked tirelessly to reform the electoral process and introduced many innovations that are generally acknowledged to have improved the electoral process.

“Over the years, the Commission has worked tirelessly to reform the electoral process and introduced many innovations that are generally acknowledged to have improved the electoral process. In doing so, we will continue to acknowledge the sacrifice and dedication of our hardworking staff. As you are deployed to the States of the Federation, you will be responsible for human and material resources.

Work with the staff and be guided by the provisions of the law and our various Regulations and Guidelines.

“Furthermore, you will also interact with various stakeholders. You should maintain the established practice of consultation with them.

However, in dealing with the general public, you should be guided by the provisions of the Commission’s Code of Conduct. You should not be visitors to Government Houses and must never hold unofficial meetings with politicians, even after official working hours.

“All matters pertaining to official responsibilities should be conducted in the office attended by the relevant staff and properly documented. This is your best protection against mischief. Do not compromise the neutrality of the Commission or create the perception of partisanship.

“We have just witnessed the swearing-in of nineteen (19) Resident Electoral Commissioners.

On behalf of the Commission, let me first of all congratulate you on your nomination, confirmation and appointment or re-appointment as Resident Electoral Commissioners. Fourteen (14) of you are fresh appointments while five (5) have been re-appointed for a second and final term.

“I am glad to note that each one of you brings to the Commission knowledge and experience in various fields. In terms of professional background, nine (9) of you are from academia, including Professors; two (2) lawyers; an Accountant; a retired Ambassador and six (6) civil/public servants, including retired Permanent Secretaries;. As I welcome you to the Commission, I urge you to settle down quickly and familiarise yourselves with the demands of your new responsibilities, always bearing in mind our commitment to free, fair, credible, transparent and verifiable elections.”

The INEC boss stressed on the need for the RECs to put the country first in all their dealings while reminding them that there is no more time, “With exactly 113 days to the 2023 General Election, we are aware that the task ahead of us is not easy but we must never disappoint Nigerians. Our loyalty is to Nigeria and our allegiance is to Nigerians. Only their votes should determine winners in the 2023 General Election. Nothing more, nothing less.

There should be no deviation from this path of honour and integrity.

“In discharging your responsibilities, you must at all times be transparent and non-partisan while remaining firm and courageous. You owe nothing to any individual but owe everything to the Nigerian people. We must continue to ensure that the choices they make on Election Day prevail. It is their decision. We are only administering the process in trust supported by technology.

“On this note, let me once again emphasize that the only means of voter accreditation during the 2023 General Election is the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) while results will be uploaded to the INEC Results Viewing Portal (IReV) in real-time on Election Day as provided by law.”

He said, “In line with the Commission’s current practice, Resident Electoral Commissioners are deployed to States within their geo-political zones. However, no one will serve in his/her State of origin throughout your tenure.

The 19 Resident Electoral Commissioners are: Prof. Uzochukwu I. Chijioke (Abia); Barrister Nuhu Yunusa (Adamawa); Mrs. Queen Elizabeth Agu (Anambra); Mohammed Bulama Nura (Bauchi); Prof. Samuel G. Egwu (Benue); Yomere Gabriel Oritsemolebi (Cross River); Onyeka Pauline Ugochi (Ebonyi); Obo O. Effanga (Edo); Prof. Ayobami Salami (Ekiti); Umar Ibrahim (Gombe); Prof. Sylvia Uchenna Agu (Imo); Prof. Muhammad L. Bashar (Jigawa); Amb. Abdu Abdussamadu Zango (Kano); Prof. Yahaya Makarfi Ibrahim (Katsina); Ahmed Yushau Garki (Niger); Dr. Agboke Mutiu Olaleke (Osun); Dr. Agundu Oliver Tersoo (Plateau); Dr. Nura Ali (Sokoto); and Ibrahim Abdullahi (Yobe).