Nine newly appointed Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) have taken their oath of office.
Speaking at the ceremony in Abuja on Tuesday, the INEC chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, congratulated them on their appointment.
“This is the first time that several INEC career officers have been appointed as RECs. You are not new to the conduct of elections. There is no learning curve for you,” said Mr Yakubu.
Mr Yakubu tasked the RECs to be guided by the electoral legal framework, the code of conduct, and their conscience in their undertakings.
He also advised them to be firm in ensuring fairness and transparency for all.
“Consequently, there can be no excuses for failing to hit the ground running and making a huge difference to the quality and transparency of elections.
“The other five RECs sworn in today have varied experiences in the public service at both the national and state levels. We will hold you to the same standard as we hold the career officers of the commission,” he said.
He tasked them with operating within the limits of their delegated powers and responsibilities.
“We will not hesitate to deal with acts of defiance, indiscretion or transgression on the part of any REC,” he said.
He said the commission would soon release the timetable and schedule of activities for the re-run election arising from the 2023 general elections.
Mr Yakubu said the election would be combined with by-elections in constituencies where presiding officers of legislative houses had declared vacancies following the death or resignation of serving members of the national and state houses of assembly.
“So far, five vacancies have been declared for Surulere 1 Federal Constituency of Lagos State, Jalingo/Yorro/Zing Federal Constituency of Taraba, Chibok State Constituency of Borno, Chikun State Constituency of Kaduna State, and Guma State Constituency of Benue.
“Similarly, we want to assure citizens in six other constituencies that we are liaising with the national and state assemblies for the declaration of vacancies so that bye-elections can be conducted in earnest.
“These are Ebonyi South and Yobe East Senatorial Districts, Akoko North East/Akoko North-West Federal Constituency of Ondo State, Yauri/Shanga/Ngaski Federal Constituency of Kebbi State, Isa/Sabon Birni Federal Constituency of Sokoto State, and Khana II State Constituency of Rivers State,” he said.
The National Assembly cleared the nine RECs appointed by President Bola Tinubu, with one still pending.