By Emeka Mamah & Ben Agande
ABUJAâ€”INTENSE lobby has begun for the position of the Secretary of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, as civil servants in the Federal Civil Service as well as some state governors have begun to position themselves as well as their candidates for appointment to the position.
This is coming on the heels of the recent nomination of the Vice Chancellor of Bayero University, Professor Attahiru Jega as Chairman of the electoral body.
In a nation where every major appointment must be seen to reflect federal character, the days of the present Secretary of the Commission, Alhaji Abdullahi Kaugama appeared to be numbered as both he and the Chairman-designate are from North-West zone of the country.
While Prof. Attahiru Jega is from Kebbi State, the present Secretary of the Commission, Alhaji Abdullahi Kaugama is from Jigawa State.
Vanguard was told yesterday that the two deputy secretaries of the commission who are from the Southern part of the country as well as a former principal Staff officer to the former INEC boss, Professor Maurice Iwu, had begun subtle moves to be made substantive Secretary of the commission.
It was gathered that following the directive by the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Mr. Steve Orosanye, that all directors who had served in their position for eight years should retire,Â Iwu created the position of three deputy secretaries and appointed three of his cronies affected by the new directive into the position.
Those appointed were Steve Osemeke from Delta State, Ademola Johnson from Lagos State and Alhaji Abdulrahaman Madaki from Kebbi as deputy secretaries in charge ofÂ Publicity, Administration and Operations while Dr. Frank Ozor from Enugu State was made head of Electoral Institute which was also set up byÂ Iwu.
Vanguard gathered that following the impending vacancy, some top civil servants have begun to lobby to be appointed to the position. The secretary of the commission is the administrative head as well as the chief Accounting officer of INEC.
Meanwhile, the recent announcement of names of some national commissioners as well as Resident Electoral Commissioners of the Independent National Electoral Commissioner has raised questions about the sincerity of President Goodluck Jonathan to conduct a free and fair election as five of the nominees were alleged to be card-carrying members of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.