INEC Chairman Tasks Six Newly Sworn-In Commissioners On The Rules, Procedure, Responsibilities Of Office

LAGOS FEBRUARY 24TH (NEWSRANGERS)-The Chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof Mahmood Yakubu has charged the newly sworn in six National Electoral Commissioners on the rules, procedures and responsibilities of  their  office.

Mahmood who gave the charge at a meeting to welcome the new electoral commissioners and to swear-in a Resident Commissioner held at INEC Conference room,  Abuja on Wednesday, 23rd  February 2022  reminded them that the task ahead is challenging and  it is important therefore for them  to quickly settle in and familiarize themselves with the rules, procedures and responsibilities of their office, adding that he has  no doubt that they would continue to raise the bar of credible elections in Nigeria.

Yakubu urged the new Commissioners to deploy their vast knowledge and diverse experiences to the service of the country as unbiased referees, stressing that he is confident that they would join in further extending the frontiers of free and fair elections in Nigeria.

According to him, “As I told the last set of Commissioners shortly after they were sworn-in five months ago on Wednesday 15th September 2021, our success in this arduous task draws largely from our integrity as election managers. We must be strict in the application of the law, firm in handling the public trust bestowed in us and fair in our dealings with political parties, candidates and other stakeholders and all Nigerians. In discharging our enormous responsibilities, we must abide by our oaths of office. We must continue to defend the choice made by Nigerians at the polls by protecting the sanctity of the vote without which the value of democratic election is diminished.

“You are coming on board just three days to the conduct of six bye-elections to fill vacancies in three Federal and three State constituencies in Cross River, Imo, Ondo and Plateau States. The reality today is that there is no election season in Nigeria any longer. Elections are conducted all-year round by the Commission.

“In addition to the six bye-elections holding this weekend, there are three pending bye-elections in Zamfara State (Shinkafi and Gusau I State Constituencies) and Kaduna State (Giwa West State Constituency). In addition, we are right now preparing for two off-cycle Governorship elections in Ekiti and Osun States scheduled for 18th June 2022 and 16th July 2022 respectively as well as the 2023 General Election.”

He further  disclosed  that the six National Commissioners  sworn-in by the President. four of them are not new to the Commission,  adding that Mrs. May Agbamuche-Mbu, a lawyer, and Malam Mohammed Haruna, a journalist, have been re-appointed to serve for a second term and  Mr. Sam Olumekun, a retired civil servant, has served for two terms as Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in many States, including Lagos while Mr. Kenneth Nnamdi Ukeagu has been a career staff of the Commission, rising to the rank of Director.

“The other two National Commissioners are Mrs. Rhoda Gumus, a Professor of Engineering, and Modibbo Abubakar Alkali, a retired Major General of the Nigerian Army. They bring to the Commission their cumulative experiences in diverse fields that will no doubt strengthen the work of the Commission for the reform of the electoral process and the conduct of free, fair and credible elections. With your appointment, the Commission now has the full compliment of 12 National Commissioners.

“Similarly, a new Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) has just been sworn-in. He is Olaniyi Olaleye Babalola Ijalaye, a legal practitioner. He fills the vacancy for Ondo State following the swearing-in of Mr. Sam Olumekunas a National Commissioner. In line with the Commission’s policy, Mr. Ijalaye is hereby deployed to Ogun State as the new REC. The current REC for Ogun State, Mr. Olusegun Agbaje, is redeployed to Lagos State. Handing and taking over is to be concluded by Monday 28th February 2022,” Yakubu disclosed.

 

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