INEC Chairman swears in 14 new Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) for 2019 Election
The Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Mahmoud Yakubu has asked the 14 newly sworn-in Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) to see their appointment as a responsibility to ensure impartial conduct of elections in the country.
The development brings to 17 the number of states with RECs, while 20 states have no RECs.
Speaking during the oath-taking ceremony at the INEC’s headquarters in Abuja at the weekend, Yakubu said the major before the Commission is to surpass the achievements recorded in the last general election.
“Always bear in mind that INEC is not a political party. INEC has no candidate in any election. You must demonstrate transparency, impartiality, courage and balanced interaction with all stakeholders.
“As an umpire, our responsibility is to guarantee a level-playing filed for all actors, inclusiveness for all citizens irrespective of gender or disability and above all respect and protection of the choice made by the voters as sole determinants of elective representation at all levels,” he said
Speaking on the target of he new leadership of the commission, Yakubu said that all eyes are presently on INEC to ensure that conduct free and fair elections.
The INEC boss who told the RECs that they would soon be posted to states for their primary assignment, urged them to bear in mind that nine of them will be sent to their state of origin.
Out of the 14 new RECs, 12 were new appointments, as against two reappointments.
The nominees for new appointments and their states of origin include: Godswill Obioma (Abia), James Apam (Benue), Nkwachukwu Orji (Ebonyi), Illoh Joseph Chuks (Enugu), Nentawe Goshwe Yilwatda (Plateau), Umar Ibrahim (Taraba), Emeka Ononamadu Joseph (Imo) and Ibrahim Abdullah(Adamawa), Obo Effanga (Cross River), Francis Ezeonu (Anambra), Briyai Frankland (Baylesa), Agboke Mutiu Olaleke (Ogun), while those for reappointments are Hussaini Halilu Pai (FCT) and Ahmad Makama (Bauchi).
In March 2017, President Muhammadu Buhari forwarded the names of 27 nominees to the Senate for confirmation as RECs.
On June 1, the upper legislative chamber confirmed the appointment of 15 nominees, promising to confirm the 12 pending appointees upon resumption from break on Tuesday last week.
However lawmakers suspended the confirmation of all executive nominations indefinitely due to face-off with Acting President Yemi Osinbajo over power of confirmation.