INEC Commissioner Reads Riot Act To Staff

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UYO, August 05, (THEWILL) - Resident Electoral Commissioner for Akwa Ibom State in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria, Mrs. Maria Inibiye Owi has read riot act to employees of the commission in the state urging them to sit up or shape out as preparations for the 2011 continue to gather momentum.

Owi, a former Independent National Electoral Commissioner in Ebonyi and Imo States was newly posted to Akwa Ibom following the mass deployment of Electoral Commissioners across the country ahead of the next year’s general elections.

At her maiden meeting with the staff and management in Uyo, the State Electoral boss warned that she will not tolerate her workers participating in partisan politics, saying the new image of the commission should be generously protected by all the staff by staying off no go areas.

For Mrs. Owi, election administrators are expected to always strive to uphold the creed of impartiality insisting that credible elections are achieved with neutral, loyal and patriotic staff.

Tasking the workers to cooperate in achieving the goals of the commission, the State Electoral boss further warned the staff to eschew gossips and remain discipline and committed to assigned responsibilities.

Speaking further, Owi dismissed the use of option A4 as solution to conduct free and fair elections in the country noting that such option was not suitable for a nation with multiple political parties.

As she put it: "Option A4 is not as easy as people say, it will be tedious to organize a credible election in Nigeria using that system because of the number of political parties we have in the country.

"You can imagine how difficult it will be to control both voters and party agents queuing behind 60 candidates for the 60 political parties in a polling station in a country like ours. Definitely it will be chaos and you can begin to imagine what the outcome of such elections could be", She stressed.

According to her, a credible and transparent election could be guaranteed if voters, electoral personnel and the parties adhere to electoral laws.