The Independent Na
tional Electoral Commission (INEC) says it has only eight Resident Electoral Commissioners (REC’s) in eight states of the federation.
INEC’s Deputy Director of Civil Education, Nick Dazang, who revealed this to The Tide in a telephone interview, Wednesday, hinted that Administrative Secretaries are in charge of the commission’s affairs in states where there are no RECs.
Dazaing said the vacancies existed because most of the officers had been retired from the service, adding that the administrative officers in these respective states were doing their jobs effectively as required by the laws.
Declining to mention the states that have REC, Dazang said despite inadequate personnel, the commission was doing its work as expected of it constitutionally.
It would be recalled that the Chairman of the Commission, Prof. Mahmud Yakubu, disclosed that, by March 2017, five resident electoral commissioners (RECs) would retire, bringing the total number of states without RECs to 33.
Yakubu who appeared before the House of Representatives Committee on Electoral Matters and Political Party Affairs, during the budget presentation session by the commission, emphasized the urgency of finding replacements for the RECs.
On the planned expenditure of the commission, the commission chairman said N1.4 billion was to be used for the purchase of ballot boxes for the conduct of 2019 general elections, adding that INEC intended to phase out the collapsible transparent ballot boxes and replace them with plastic ones.
He expressed regret that despite the willingness of the committee to patronize locally made products, local manufacturers have not displayed the ability to deliver the required volume within the timeframe for elections.
Yakubu also said that the commission earmarked N500 million for the continous voter registration exercise across the country: “Sometimes, it is easier said that we have manufacturers who have the capacity but when you engage them you realize that we may not have such capacity for volumes and this is not only peculiar to elections. According to him, “Immediately you try to produce something locally, somebody rushes to register a patent and claims ownership of that idea. Right now, we have litigations of people who said the patent for smart card reader is theirs,” he said.
The Independent Na