The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has warned the Committee of Vice Chancellors (CVC) against nominating academic staff involved in partisan politics in the forthcoming general elections.
INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, gave the warning on Thursday in Abuja during a meeting between the commission and CVC.
Yakubu also said that the commission requires 10,603 staff to support the various collation and declaration process for the elections.
According to him, the commission would find it extremely difficult to conduct credible elections without the involvement of the country’s tertiary institutions.
He added that the collaboration between INEC and CVC has further enhanced the transparency and credibility of the elections in Nigeria as well as public confidence in the process.
“For the 2019 general elections, the commission would require some 10,603 staff to support various collation and declaration processes. It is for this reason that this meeting is of crucial importance.
“We need the support of our universities to source the requisite member of interested academic staff on the understanding that this is essentially a national service.
“As in previous elections, we have requested each university for a specified number of academic staff as contained in my letter to the Vice Chancellors.
“Staff who are card carrying members or have participated in partisan politics should not be nominated.
“Similarly, those who may not be involved in partisan political activities but are known to have obvious political leanings should not be nominated.
“The commission will carefully scrutinise the list which must be submitted confidentially in the manner prescribed by the commission in my letter to the Vice Chancellors,” Yakubu said.
Responding on behalf of CVC, the Vice Chancellor of Modibbo Adama University of Technology, Yola, Prof. Kyari Muhammed, said that the Vice Chancellors are committed to the Nigerian project, and that they are committed to free and fair election.
He assured that they would give the commission all the needed support to guarantee free and fair election.
Also, the Executive Secretary, National University Commission (NUC), Prof. Abubakar Rasheed, commended INEC for the confidence repose in them.
He therefore urged the Vice Chancellors to take the assignment very serious and nominate academic members that are as neutral as possible.
Rasheed said, “We are being monitored, please save this system to ensure free and fair election. I want to assure you sir, that these Vice Chancellors and others that are not there will not fail this election.”