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INEC gets two RECs, deploys them for rerun

The Punch logo The Punch 22/01/2020 The Punch
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Friday Olokor, Abuja

The Independent National Electoral Commission on Tuesday inaugurated two Resident Electoral Commissioners representing Bayelsa and Borno states to fill the two vacancies that had existed in the two states.

Their nominations by the Presidency were confirmed by the Senate as a result of the vacancies that had existed.

While Alalibo Johnson from Bayelsa State was deployed in Cross River State as REC, Umar Gajiram from Borno State, according to INEC, was deployed in Adamawa State.

The commission said it would kick start their employment in the forthcoming rerun election in 28 constituencies scheduled for January 25.

The chairman of INEC, Prof Mahmoud Yakubu, at the the inauguration in Abuja, said Johnson replaced a former REC of Cross River State, while Gajiram replaced a former REC of Taraba State, who died a few months ago.

“As RECs, you can be deployed to any part of the country at any time the exigencies of service require but you will never serve in your states of origin throughout your tenure. In line with this policy, Johnson is hereby deployed to Cross River State while Gajiram is deployed to Taraba State,” he stated.

Johnson is expected to hit the ground running in Cross River State to conduct the rerun election, while Gajiram would proceed to Bauchi State to observe election.

The INEC chairman added, “Let me, therefore, congratulate Johnson and Gajiram on their appointment. As I told your colleagues on the occasion of their swearing-in as RECs, you will also be responsible for the implementation of the commission’s policies.

“In doing so, you will exercise supervisory control over personnel, resources as well the legal and administrative processes in the state to which you are deployed. You will also interact with various categories of stakeholders. In doing so, you must maintain the required openness and consultation. At the same time, you must be very firm in the discharge of your responsibilities.

“Your deployment today is coming just three days to the conduct of several re-run elections by court orders. On Saturday this week, elections will hold in 28 constituencies spread across 11 states of the federation. Six of these elections involve entire constituencies while 22 elections will be held only in some polling units.

“There will be no substitution of candidates as these are not bye-elections but court-ordered re-run elections and the period for nomination of candidates has lapsed since the end of 2018 in preparation for the 2019 general elections.

“I wish to assure Nigerians that the commission is ready for the re-run elections. All sensitive and non-sensitive materials have been deployed to the states; stakeholders’ meetings have been held, security arrangements are being finalised while training and posting of ad hoc staff as well as the configuration of Smart Card Readers are ongoing.”

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