Less than two months to the commencement of the 2019 general elections, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has sworn in a new Administrative Secretary, Mrs Rose Oriaran-Anthony with a charge to discharge her duties professionally in the nation’s interest.
The Commission warned that “it will not tolerate the complicity of staff with political actors or their agents to subvert the electoral process.”
Chairman of the Commission, Prof Yakubu Mahmood who administered the oath of office on the newly appointed Administrative Secretary, further urged her to ensure that INEC staff from the headquarters to the state and local government were of proper conduct especially during the forthcoming elections.
He also charged INEC officials to remain neutral in the discharge of their duties and committed to protecting the sanctity of the process.
Yakubu, who noted that the Commission has been inundated with applications from several groups for accreditation to observe elections warned political support groups to steer clear of applying as election observer groups.
According to the INEC boss, the Commission will scrutinize all applications from organisations and ensure that only groups that complied with the “revised INEC guidelines for the accreditation of observers will be accredited.”
He called on interested organisations to apply to the Commission saying that details will be published early next week.
“He said: “The purpose of accrediting observers for elections is a noble one to increase the transparency and openness of the process. The report of observers also serve as a useful feedback mechanism for strengthening our processes and procedures. It is therefore counter productive for such an important process to be one an all comers business.”
Responding, the newly appointed Secretary, Mrs Orianran-Anthony described her appointment as a call to duty with heavy responsibility anchored on extreme hard-work, dedication and professionalism in providing leadership to the Commission’s bureaucracy for improved service delivery.
She pledged “to work with her colleagues in their various capacities to bequeath a workforce that is professional, innovative, non partisan and loyal.”
Mrs Orianran-Anthony replaced Mrs Augusta Ogakwu who retired from the Commission this year.