From Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has warned that any staff who fails to locate themselves within its new scheme of operations or adapt to new realities of the electoral process will be a burden if not an impediment to the wheel of progress.
National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, gave the charge in his address at the INEC/IFES workshop on validation of Voter Education Manual in Lokoja, Kogi State.
“This programme is taking place at a period of great changes and innovations in the commission. These changes require creative and innovative minds, staff that are broad-minded and committed. It is imperative that staff of the commission should be properly equipped, especially being at home with relevant technologies. The times equally demand staff that is highly professional and ethical.
“To be relevant in the new order that the commission is enthroning, every staff must first align to the innovations, then the staff must understand his place in the scheme of affairs. The changes the commission is making are fundamental and with the prospect of altering the electoral landscape of the country.
“Any staff, who cannot locate himself within these changes and or adapt to the new realities of the electoral process will sadly find himself to be a burden if not an impediment to the wheel of progress.
“The choice is for each and every one of us to determine how to locate himself in the new scheme of the operations of the commission.
“Fortunately, the changes in the commission are being driven by the Chairman of the Commission, Mahmood Yakubu, who has shown great commitment, courage and innovative spirit.
“The commission has prioritised the changes and innovations that will be cascaded to the conduct of off-season governorship elections and the 2023 general election. The changes and innovations will be challenging but they are necessary to enhance the standard of our electoral process.
“The commission is, therefore, poised to surmount whatever the challenges may be to conduct elections that will receive the overwhelming endorsement of majority of Nigerians at all times.
“At each stage of the envisioned changes, the commission will endeavour to consult widely and build a national consensus around the changes and innovations in the electoral process.
“In the next few days, the commission will conclude the consultative phase and release clear guidelines for the movement of voting points to decongest the existing ones. It is pertinent to explain here that no voting point will be moved from one local government to another.
“It is also important to underscore the fact that the expansion of polling units will not confer any advantage to any state of the federation other than decongesting existing polling units, degrading overcrowding and aid increase of voter turnout.