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New INEC boss lists priorities

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By Ben Agande
ABUJA—The new Acting Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Prince Solomon Adedeji, who resumed office, yesterday, promised that his leadership would focus on what he called ”the purification of the voters’ register’ to ensure a credible election in 2011.

In his maiden meeting with senior staff of the commission yesterday, Prince Adedeji said though the task ahead and the challenges are very enormous, ‘we will ensure that we do not spare any thought, at least in attaining the task entrusted on us by the Constitution’ and called for patience from members of the Nigerian public.

According to Prince Adedeji, although Professor Maurice Iwu has left as chairman of the commission, he and his team would do everything to ensure a smooth transition

“What we have in focus here is the 2011 elections and what we are going to talk about today is a way of fast tracking or at least a way of sanitizing the processes that will lead to a very credible election.

“We are all aware in this Commission that the electoral process in the country has only one direction left and that is forward. And the Commission is ever ready, it has been following events and you will discover that we have made plans to make surethat we have a very free and fair election come 2011.

The major task ahead of us right now is the full sensitization and of course, what we call the purification of the voters register.

“ We have used the register in quite a number of bye-elections we have not used some since the 2007 elections and the greatest task as I said is to make sure that we produce a voters register that is very credible which can be used for the election. From time to time, we will brief the public about our preparedness and about our readiness and about their involvement to ensure that we have a very nice election” he said.

The acting INEC boss promised to be open and transparent in his dealings and would expand the scope of stakeholders that the commission would engage in ensuring that better result is achieved in its goals.

“We are going to be open, we are going to be very involving, we are going to expand our coast in terms of stakeholders and of course we are going to be very honest with the whole country. We are mindful of the fact that the commission occupies a very vital role in the sustenance of democracy in Nigeria.

To this end, we will ensure that we don’t spare any thought at least in attaining the task entrusted on us by the Constitution. And we are going to make sure that at least, we are going to obey every rule of the law that set us up.  my appeal is that you (the public) should  be patient with us and we shall be more involved”.

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