The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Attahiru Jega, on Monday in Abuja swore in five newly appointed Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs), with a charge on them to ensure fairness and greater discipline in the discharge of their responsibilities.
Mr. Jega also warned the new RECs against partisanship in order to improve and make the electoral process more credible.
He advised them to make discipline and integrity as their watchwords.
“There are still enormous tremendous challenges ahead of us. Yes, we have raised the bar, yes, there is improvement, in fact whatever indices you use to compare the elections we have conducted in
April and since April, I think, there are clear indicators that we have been improving but the challenges are enormous.
“I keep saying that with regards to electoral matters in this country we have left things to be so bad for so long that it will require a lot of efforts to be able to get out of the woods.’’
Mr. Jega called for collective contributions to ensure that the April General Elections, which was adjudged a success by many Nigerians and international observers, was improved on.
He told the RECs to keep an open door policy as well as maintain dignified relationships with their host communities and not be outrageously dependent particularly on state governments.
“Do what is doable, but do not ever compromise in terms of the processes and in terms of the legal frame work.’’
Responding on behalf of his colleagues, Austine Okojie from Edo State, assured their determination to discharge their duties legally and with loyalty to the commission.
He said the RECs would acknowledge the attitude of Nigerians in not demonstrating the spirit of fair play during elections.
Mr. Okojie, who was reappointed, had served in various states including Benue, Imo, Enugu, Bayelsa, Rivers and Abia.
Others include Jacob Jatau, Baba Yusuf, Segun Agbaje, and Nasir Ayilara.
The newly sworn in RECs are yet to be deployed to their new places of assignments.