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INEC Vows Zero Tolerance For Unethical Practices By Officials



INEC Vows Zero Tolerance for Unethical Practices by Officials

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has affirmed that unethical and corrupt practices by election officials will not be tolerated.

News About Nigeria reports that this warning is coming ahead of the Edo and Ondo States’ governorship elections.

This was stated by the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, on Monday at a speech in honour of the late Prof. Abubakar Momoh, the former director general of The Electoral Institute, in Abuja prior to the off-cycle governorship elections in Ondo and Edo, which are set for November 16, 2024, and September 21, respectively.

The focal point of this year’s lecture was “The 2024 off-cycle elections: Achieving professionalism among election personnel through effective training in preparation for Edo and Ondo state governorship elections.”

Yakubu, represented by the Chairman of the Board of the Electoral Institute, Prof. Abdullahi Zuru, highlighted the necessity for election personnel to be knowledgeable, skilled, and equipped to handle the complexities of the electoral process.

He stressed that effective training was crucial in fostering a high level of professionalism among election officials.

“The success of any election largely depends on the professionalism and competence of those responsible for conducting it,” he said.

“It is important that our personnel for these elections are knowledgeable, skilled, and well-equipped with relevant competencies to handle the complexities and challenges of the electoral process.”

The INEC chairman noted that professionalism was essential for maintaining the integrity of the democratic process and ensuring voter confidence, which in turn affects voter participation and turnout.

Yakubu emphasised that voters should be treated with respect, and any unethical or corrupt practices by election officials would incur severe punishments.

He outlined key principles for election officials, including integrity, impartiality, transparency, professionalism, gender and disability sensitivity, and consideration for vulnerable groups.

The chairman stated, “Hence, a high sense of professionalism amongst election personnel engendered by effective training cannot be overemphasised.

“The manner, in which they discharge their duties and responsibilities, affects the degree of confidence voters will have in the electoral process, which will impact their participation and turnout.

“To ensure the credibility and trustworthiness in our elections and build trust among the electorate, it is imperative that we prioritise the professional development of our election personnel.”

He added that to achieve these standards, INEC was committed to comprehensive and interactive training programmes for its staff and trainers.