January 17, 2019

Don’t nominate partisan academics for election work, INEC urges VCs

INEC, offenders, Kogi, Bayelsa

INEC boss, Prof Mahmood Yakubu

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has urged the Committee of Vice Chancellors (CVC) not nominate academic staff involved in partisan politics as Collation or Returning Officers for the general election.

INEC boss

The commision also cautioned the committee against forwarding the names to it, academics with  obvious political leaning for such national electoral assignment.
INEC Chairman Prof. Mahmood Yakubu gave the advice when he  met with CVC members on Thursday in Abuja.
Yakubu said that for the 2019 general elections, the commission would require 10,603 staff to support  various collation and declaration processes. 
He said: “It is for this reason that this meeting is of crucial importance. 
“We need the support of our universities to source the requisite members of interested academic staff on the understanding that this is essentially a national service.
“As in previous elections, we have requested each university for a specified number of academic staff as contained in my letter to the Vice Chancellors.
“Staff who are card carrying members or have participated in partisan politics should not be nominated.

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“Similarly, those who may not be involved in partisan political activities but are known to have obvious political leaning  should not be nominated.
“The commission will carefully scrutinise the list which must be submitted confidentially in the manner prescribed by the commission in my letter to the Vice Chancellors.”
Yakubu expressed appreciation to  the vice-chancellors for their and collaboration with the commission on such national service, often done under strenuous circumstances.
The Chairman said that without the involvement of the  tertiary institutions, especially the universities, INEC would find it extremely difficult to conduct credible elections.
He said that the the collaboration between INEC and the institutions had been a happy one,adding that it had further enhanced the transparency and credibility of the elections in Nigeria and public confidence in the process. 
“The Commission wishes to sustain and deepen this collaboration.”
The Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission (NUC), Prof. Abubakar Rasheed, commended  INEC for the confidence reposed in the university system.
Rasheed  urged the Vice-Chancellors to take the assignment  seriously as well ensure that academic Staff to be nominated were neutral.
“Please, it is important with vice chancellors to act with utmost sense of fairness,  justness, integrity,  credibility.
“If any vice-chancellor, here, misbehaves during the elections, it is not only him and his university that will be in disrepute,  it is the entire Nigerian university system and academic community, “he warned.

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Rasheed, who reminded the vice- chancellors that they were being monitored, urged them to safe the system by  ensuring  free and fair election.
The Vice-Chancellor,Modibbo Adama University of Technology, Yola, Prof. Kyari Muhammed who responded on behalf of the CVC, said that they were committed to the Nigerian project and ensuring free and fair election.
He assured that they would give the commission all the needed support to guarantee free and fair election.
“We will give you all the support from our universities in  ensure free elections.”(NAN)