The Independent National Electoral Commission INEC has resolved to honour one of its personnel who braved the odds to deliver election materials to its Polling Unit in the last Bauchi South senatorial election.
The staff whose details were not disclosed was said to have swam across two rivers and walked across a stream to get to the polling unit and prepared it for elections before 8am.
INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu disclosed this Thursday night in Abuja at the commission’s Maiden Merit Award for its staff.
In a brief remarks at the occasion, Yakubu said; “Our staff are among the most dedicated in the public service in Nigeria. I have no doubt about this. Where necessary, the commission has condemned staff who ran foul of her processes and procedures but condemnation of staff makes no sense outside the context of commendation.
“The extent to which some of our staff go to ensure that Polling Units open at 8am and elections are conducted is simply amazing. In one of the elections we conducted recently, in one of the local government areas, I think in Bauchi South Senatorial District, one of our staff swam across two rivers and walked across a stream in order to get to our polling unit. I have asked the Resident Electoral Commissioner REC to send details of that staff.
We are going to write a letter of commendation to him. Other parameters being equal, such staff will qualify for the awards next time but for this time, that person deserves a letter of commendation from the commission. “INEC is what it is on account of the quality and dedication of its staff.
The staff make INEC. Therefore, every opportunity that we have to celebrate our staff is something that this commission would always support, not only open-handedly but support in every legitimate way. It is not just the fact that our terms and conditions of service provide for this kind of awards once in a year but it is also the proper thing to do, taking into cognizance the number of Chairmen of INEC that we have had.
We have had so many National Commissioners and Resident Electoral Commissioners RECs. But like birds of passage, we are here for a few years and we are gone. The staff are permanent. Elections are ultimately conducted by ‘human beings’ not ‘commissions’. So, the integrity of the election managers is key to the outcome of elections”, he added.
Earlier, Chairman of the Appointments and Promotion Committee of the Commission, Baba Shettima Arfo said the awardees were picked after a rigorous procedure