INEC names new RECs for Akwa Ibom, Cross River, makes other key appointments

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The Independent pendent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has appointed Cyril Omorogbe as its Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Akwa Ibom following the exit of Mike Igini. The electoral body said this in a statement issued by its spokesperson, Festus Okoye, on Tuesday. Having served as the INEC REC in the state for five years, Mr Igini retired from service last week. A valedictory session was also held for him at the commission’s headquarters in Uyo. Mr Igini is considered by many observers as a principled umpire who refused to be cowed or bribed by politicians. His stance on various electoral matters put him in conflict with politicians in the state he supervised.

“I have fought a good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith,” Mr Igini said in a report published by Easterner.

Mr Igini’s retirement came amidst the struggle for the senatorial ticket of Akwa Ibom North-west seat between the former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio, and Udom Ekpoudom. Mr Igini, as INEC leader in Akwa Ibom, declared Mr Ekpoudom the rightful candidate because he emerged through the primaries supervised by INEC officials in the state. With his exit, Mr Omoregbe, the former INEC REC in Cross River State, will now lead the affairs of the commission in Akwa Ibom.Apart from Mr Omoregbe, the commission also redeployed Johnson Sinikiem, its former REC in Edo State, to Cross River with immediate effect.

Mr Sinikiem was recently “invited” by the police in Edo State to provide insight into some technical issues regarding the last conducted governorship election in the state.

In his Tuesday statement, Mr Okoye said the redeployment is in line with the commission’s extant policy.

Other postings

Eight other staff members were also either redeployed or upgraded to serve in higher capacities.

“The public may recall that on 24th March 2022, the Commission redeployed 385 staff nationwide. On that occasion, the Commission announced that this will be a routine exercise which will continue from time to time.

“In line with the extant policy, the Commission hereby redeploys two Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) and eight directorate level staff as follows,” the INEC spokesperson said in the statement.

From his role as Director of Planning & Monitoring Department, Headquarters, Abuja, Paul Omokore was posted to lead the commission’s ICT department. Chidi Nwafor, formerly a director of the ICT, will henceforth serve as the commission’s Administrative Secretary in Enugu State. Chima Duruaku and Jude Okwuanu will be the new Director of Planning & Monitoring Department in Abuja and Administrative Secretary in Anambra State respectively. Usman Wase will now act as INEC’s Administrative Secretary in Nasarawa State while Salisu Garba will assume the new role of Director Procurement for the INEC head office in Abuja. Formerly the Acting Administrative Secretary, FCT, Waziri Zanna has been redeployed as Acting Director of Human Resource Management in the same office in Abuja. Godwin Edibo is to resume as the new INEC Acting Administrative Secretary for the FCT. All the postings are with immediate effect, Mr Okoye said.

“Handing and taking over should be concluded on/or before Friday 26th August 2022,” he said.

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