INEC Begins Voters’ Register Display
Jega swears in new RECs, cautions on states’ support IT is widely discredited as skewed in favour of entrenched election riggers in the country. But for all its worth, Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Attahiru Jega, on Tuesday ordered resident electoral commissioners (RECs) to put the nation’s voters’ register on public display nationwide, preparatory to the 2011 general elections. Jega issued the directive during the swearing-in of new RECs at the INEC headquarters in Abuja. He stressed that the success of the 2011 polls depended on how far the exercise of voter register was conducted. And, apparently to protect the integrity and independence of the electoral process, Jega also cautioned the newly sworn in RECs against seeking any form of assistance from their host state governments without official approval from his office. However, Jega expressed optimism on holding credible elections in the country, saying that it is incumbent on INEC to strive to do its very best in this regard come 2011 and beyond. He therefore, urged the RECs to embark on a serious assessment of their operational readiness and capabilities at the state and local council offices for the voters’ register exercise as the 2011 polls approached. Jega said: “Part of the efforts towards repositioning INEC is a reflection of past practices so as to learn from them. Report reaching the commission indicates that there is the need for caution in the relationship between RECs and state governments. The practice by some RECs in the recent past going cap-in-hand to state governments for assistance must be discouraged because it is capable of undermining your independence. “RECs are advised to get in touch with the National Headquarters to address whatever problems they may face. Even in instances where such assistance is freely offered as is done to other federal agencies, approval for accepting such assistance must be obtained from the commission. These measures are essential in ensuring public confidence.” The INEC chief stressed the need for the RECs to work in close collaboration with the commission’s headquarters, especially, his office, in order to satisfy the yearnings of Nigerians for credible, free and fair elections. He stressed: “Let us all conduct our affairs responsibly with honesty, integrity and impartiality.” The oaths were administered on the new RECs by the Acting. Director, Legal Services, INEC, Ibrahim Bawa. The new RECs and their states of origin are as follows: Prof. C.E. Onukaogu (Abia); Prof. Tukur Sa'ad (Adamawa); Ahmad Makama (Bauchi); Mr. Mike Igini (Delta); Prof. Selina Omagha Oko (Ebonyi); Mr. Edwin Offor Nwartarali (Enugu); Alhaji Yakubu Shehu (Kaduna); Alhaji Jibril Ibrahim Zarewa (Kano); Hassan Ahmed Mahuta (Katsina); Abubakar Umar Garba Wara (Kebbi); Dr. Emmanuel Onucheyo (Kogi); Ambassador Rufus O. Akeju (Lagos); Alhaji Abdullahi Umar Danyaya (Niger); Mr. Timothy A. Ibitoye (Osun); Dr. A.L. Ogunmola (Oyo); Dr. Rose Obuoforibo (Rivers); Mallam Haliru A. Tambawei (Sokoto); Mallam Kassim Gana (Gaidam (Yobe); and Ibrahim Bagobiri Marafa (Zamfara).
Source: guardiannewsngr.com - Mohammed Abubakar