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2011 Elections: Palpable Fear Grips INEC Staff Over Transfer Bid

Source: EWACHE AJEFU, ABUJA BUREAU CHIEF - thewillnigeria.com
PHOTO: INEC CHAIRMAN, PROFESSOR ATTAHIRU JEGA.
PHOTO: INEC CHAIRMAN, PROFESSOR ATTAHIRU JEGA.


ABUJA, July 03, (THEWILL) - Palpable fear now reigns within the rank and file of staff of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) following the resumption of duties by the new Chairman of INEC, Professor Attahiru Jega, THEWILL can report.

The fear is sequel to pronouncement by the new INEC helmsman that he will sanitize the commission to pave way for hitch free activities towards next year’s general elections.

Ahead of the swearing in of the INEC boss and fellow commissioners last week, several meetings held by political associations, civil society organizations had advised Professor Jega that his first task on assumption should be the immediate mass transfer of key staff of the commission who may be directly or indirectly connected with hampering the smooth conduct of next year’s elections.

They warned that should Jega maintain the status quo in the commission, his job at the commission would be jeopardized and would have failed Nigerians, come 2011.

The Conference of Nigerian Political Parties, Alliance for Credible Elections and a host of other Civil Society Organizations had suggested a reorganization of the entire rank and file of INEC staff to give a sound foundation for Professor Jega and his Commissioners to thrive, stating that the monumental corruption prevalent in the commission was already a rotten ground for the new executives to operate.

As if to corroborate the fear of the Civil Society groups, senior directors in the commission had before the swearing in of Professor Jega engaged in conflict of confidence, fueled by the fact that the current INEC Secretary who is an appointee in INEC comes from the same North-West geopolitical zone as Professor Jega, reasoning that the duo cannot function because of federal character syndrome.

In view of this development, the new set of executives, THEWILL learnt, might effect radical changes to remove the ugly and already embarrassing situation as Jega has vowed, he will not allow sentiments to holds sway in the discharge of his duties.

When THEWILL visited INEC Headquarters last Friday, INEC employees were seen in several groups in hush tones discussing what would befall them as they are yet to figure out plans on the sleeve of the incoming Jega administration.

President Goodluck Jonathan had during the swearing-in and inauguration charged Jega and his Commissioners to embark on radical changes in the commission so as to deliver credible elections in 2011.