No Gifts from Govs, Jega Warns New RECs

25 Feb 2011

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Attahiru Jega, INEC Chairman

Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Prof Attahiru Jega Thursday charged three new Resident Electoral
Commissioners of the Commission to discharge their duty with honour, integrity and impartiality and stop making demands from state governments Administering oath to the new officers, Jega said,  “You are joining the Commission at a very critical period in the history of the Commission; at a time when there is very great expectations from Nigerians for free, fair and credible elections.

“At a time where clearly there seems to be a national consensus on the need to reform the electoral process as well as the political process and to contribute to good democratic governance which can move our country forward.

“There are therefore great expectations on all of us officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission to deliver on this
aspiration of Nigerians.

The new RECs  are: Dr. Godwin Kwanga (Benue), posted to FCT, Akin Orebiyi (Ogun) posted to Ondo State and Hussaini Haliry Pai (FCT)
posted to Ekiti.  Jega charged them to contribute positively to the good governance in our country, by what they do, saying “I urge to do your best under all circumstances, to do your job and discharge your responsibility with honour, with integrity and with transparency in the best interest of our country.”

“I want to urge you as you go to the states to discharge your responsibilities you will be literally the commanders in the field as you are aware Nigerians are concerned about the independence and autonomy and the impartiality of the Independent National Electoral
Commission as we discharge our responsibility.

“I would also like to urge you as you discharge your responsibility I urge you to please ensure that what ever you do, you ensure that you are non-partisan, you are impartial and that you create a level playing field for all parties and for all contestants.

This is a principle which we as a new Commission have been popularizing and have been doing our best to comply with and I urge you to please do your best in that regard.

“Please avoid unnecessary relationships that can create a perception of either partiality or partisanship in particular, I have when swearing in your colleagues much earlier about six or seven months ago, I had pleaded with them to ensure that they maintain honourable
and decent relationship with their host governments whether state governments or local governments.

I want to also urge you to also please maintain a decent relationship with your host community. “Do not make demands on the state governments until you clear those demands or requests from the national headquarters.

We are committed to doing everything possible to provide you with the environment and the resources that you need to discharge your job without having to rely on others to provide those resources for you.

That doesn’t mean that we are so independent that we don’t need help from anybody but if requiring assistance becomes necessary, please get clearance before you do so. This will insulate you from politics and unnecessary allegations and accusations and it will also protect the Commission as a whole.

Tags: Politics, Nigeria

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