By Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
The Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, has sworn in a new Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) from Akwa Ibom State, Mr Monday Udo Tom, whose nomination was confirmed by the Senate last week.
He said his appointment brings the total number of RECs nationwide to 36 out of 37 in the states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
The chairman of the commission, while swearing in the new REC at the commission’s headquarters Wednesday in Abuja, said that the electoral body was still awaiting the confirmation and appointment of the nominee for Osun State.
According to him, “The new REC who has just been sworn in today holds a BSc. degree in Biological Science and a Master’s degree in Microbiology. He served as lecturer and civil servant in Akwa Ibom State.”
Yakubu noted that as a REC, he could be posted to any part of the country at any time as the exigencies of service require, adding that for now, Tom would be posted to a state within his geo-political zone, stressing: “But you will never serve in your state of origin throughout your tenure. In line with this principle, you are hereby deployed to Bayelsa State.”
He added: “As I told your colleagues on the occasion of their swearing-in as Resident Electoral Commissioners, 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 posted. 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 and courageous on the side of the law as well as our regulations and guidelines at all times as required of an unbiased umpire.
“Your appointment is coming just 16 days to the 2019 general election. We have already implemented 10 out of the 14 activities in our timetable and schedule of activities. The final list of candidates for governorship, state assembly and FCT area council elections will be published in all our state offices nationwide and the commission’s website, tomorrow Thursday, 31st January 2019.”