Enugu – The African Students Union Parliament (ASUP) has conferred an award of “Excellence in election organisation and execution’’ on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Enugu state.
ASUP, which is a pan-African students movement, also bestowed the award of “Excellence in hard work and dedication’’ on the state Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Dr. Emeka Ononamadu.
The group said that the two awards were in recognition of the recipients’ performance in the just-concluded 2019 general election.
Receiving the awards, Ononamadu said that he dedicated them to God and the members of staff for making peaceful, flawless and successful elections possible in the state.
“Without you people (staff) this story today will not be told. I thank you and I think we have built a very formidable foundation in INEC here in Enugu state,’’ he said.
He urged the staff to re-dedicate themselves to the service of the nation, especially in preparation for 2023.
“The reward for hard work is more work and sustaining that which you are good at,’’ he said.
Ononamadu said that Enugu state had the least number of petitions in the election tribunal.
He said that the implication was that Enugu INEC did its bit very well and left no loopholes for complaints or disagreements.
“I also believe that with time, some petitioners, even among the few, will see reasons to withdraw from the tribunal,’’ he said.
According to him, credible election is just the foundation for good governance which Africans yearn for.
He said that if elections did not produce credible leaders, Africa would remain backward.
Earlier, Mr Abel Okewu, Speaker of ASUP, said that the group had closely followed the activities of Enugu INEC and REC from the build-up to the elections.
“We can attest to how this office conducted a flawless and rancour-free elections in Enugu state,” Okewu said.
He noted that the group also observed the selfless leadership, dedication, financial prudence, team work and positive transformation in Enugu INEC under Ononamadu’s watch.
“The much talked about transformation in Africa can only start with committed men like Ononamadu and his team of assistants in Enugu INEC,’’ he said.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the award ceremony was attended by principal officers of the commission, among others. (NAN)