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Varsity lecturers must swear oath of neutrality – INEC

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said that university lecturers that will be deployed for this year’s general elections as ad hoc collation and…

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said that university lecturers that will be deployed for this year’s general elections as ad hoc collation and returning officers must swear to an oath of neutrality.

The INEC chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, said this on Thursday in Abuja, during a meeting with Vice Chancellors of Nigerian Federal Universities at the National Universities Commission (NUC).

According to him, the oath of neutrality is for all election staff in line with section 26 of the Electoral Act 2022.

Yakubu said the commission would not deploy any university teacher with obvious political learning for the elections.

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He said, “I must warn that 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 politics but are known to have obvious political leanings should not be nominated. Furthermore, those who have been convicted of electoral malpractice must be excluded.”

On his part, the Executive Secretary of NUC, Prof. Abubakar Rasheed, urged the lecturers that would be deployed for the elections to be professional in the discharge of their duties.

Also, the Chairman, Committee of Vice Chancellors of Nigerian Universities, Prof. Lilian Salami, assured that those that would be nominated would diligently discharge their responsibilities in the interest of democratic and national development.

Commission assure PWDs of safety

Meanwhile, INEC and security agencies have assured Persons with Disability (PWDs) of safety ahead of the February 25, and March 11, general elections.

They gave the assurance on Thursday in Abuja during the launch of The Albino Foundation (TAF) Africa Election App and inter-security agencies’ training workshop on disability-inclusive elections funded by the European Union (EU).

The INEC chairman said ensuring the right of PWDs to vote and be voted for was one of the most visible gains in the nation’s thriving democracy.

Yakubu, represented by the National Commissioner, South West, Prof Kunle Ajayi, said the commission understood that PWDs were facing several obstacles in electoral and political processes.

Also, the Inspector General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba, represented by the Commissioner of Police in charge of election affairs, Basil Idegwu, said that the police would avail PWDs maximum security as they went to cast their ballot.

Earlier, the Chief Executive Officer of TAF, Jake Epelle, said insecurity was primarily responsible for voter apathy, hence the need for security personnel to secure voters on election day.

He noted that the dashboard contained the data of eligible PWDs who would be voting in the 2023 elections and that it would guide the INEC on where to deploy resources on election days.


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