The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), yesterday, swore-in nine new Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs), including the lone female nominee, Dr. Asma’u Sani Maikudi, from Katsina State.
Others sworn in alongside Dr. Maikudi included Sam Olugbadebo Olumekun (Ondo), Prof. Riskuwa A. Shehu (Sokoto), Barr. Kassim Gana Geidam (Yobe), Jibrin Ibrahim Zarewa (Kano), Abdulganiyu Olayinka Raji (Oyo), Prof. Sam Egwu (Kogi), and Barr. Mike A. Igini (Delta).
Dr. Maikudi got her letter of confirmation several days after her colleagues got theirs and few hours before their swearing in. Her letter was reportedly withheld by some powerful forces in the presidency who did not want her to represent Katsina State.
INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, who spoke during the swearing in at the commission’s headquarters in Abuja, urged the new RECs to be courageous in the course of discharging their mandate.
“You are fortunate to assume duty just after the conclusion of the commission’s Strategic Plan 2017-2021. As Resident Electoral Commissioners, you will be responsible for the implementation of the plan. In doing so, you will also exercise supervisory control over personnel, resources, as well as legal and administrative processes in the states to which you are posted.
“You will also interact with various categories of stakeholders, including partisan actors. As election managers, you must maintain the required openness and consultation. At the same time, you must be very firm and courageous on the side of the law, as well as our regulations and guidelines as required of you as unbiased umpires. Be fair to all, partisan to none,” he said.
He told the RECs that they could be posted to any part of the country at any time but with a caveat: “None of you will ever serve in his or her state of origin throughout your tenure.”
He said the 2019 elections would be a remarkable improvement from the last general elections.