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2023: INEC Places New RECs, Electoral Officers On Watchlist



The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has put its electoral officers on the watchlist ahead of the 2023 general elections.

The INEC Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, put the electoral officers on a watchlist during the swearing-in of 19 Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) in Abuja on Thursday.

Yakubu cautioned INEC officers against activities that will dent the image of the commission and warned them not to visit government houses and hold unofficial meetings with politicians.

While welcoming the commissioners, Yakubu charged the officials to be committed to free, fair, credible, transparent, and verifiable elections.

The INEC boss also reminded the new commissioners of their service to Nigerians and charged them to remain transparent and non-partisan.

He said: “As I welcome you to the commission, I urge you to settle down quickly and familiarise yourselves with the demands of your new responsibilities, always bearing in mind our commitment to free, fair, credible, transparent, and verifiable elections.

“With exactly 113 days to the 2023 general election, we are aware that the task ahead of us is not easy but we must never disappoint Nigerians.

“Our loyalty is to Nigeria and our allegiance is to Nigerians. Only their votes should determine winners in the 2023 general election. Nothing more, nothing less. There should be no deviation from this path of honour and integrity.

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“Over the years, the commission has worked tirelessly to reform the electoral process and introduce many innovations that are generally acknowledged to have improved the electoral process. In doing so, we will continue to acknowledge the sacrifice and dedication of our hardworking staff.

“As you are deployed to the states of the federation, you will be responsible for human and material resources. Work with the staff and be guided by the provisions of the law and our various regulations and guidelines.

“Furthermore, you will also interact with various stakeholders. You should maintain the established practice of consultation with them. However, in dealing with the general public, you should be guided by the provisions of the commission’s code of conduct.

“You should not be visitors to government houses and must never hold unofficial meetings with politicians, even after official working hours. All matters pertaining to official responsibilities should be conducted in the office attended by the relevant staff and properly documented.

“This is your best protection against mischief. Do not compromise the neutrality of the commission or create the perception of partisanship. In discharging your responsibilities, you must at all times be transparent and non-partisan while remaining firm and courageous.

“You owe nothing to any individual but owe everything to the Nigerian people. We must continue to ensure that the choices they make on election day prevail. It is their decision. We are only administering the process in trust supported by technology”, the INEC boss stated.

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