RECs fume as INEC centralizes collation officers’ selection - AMEBO NEWSPAPERS NG.


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RECs fume as INEC centralizes collation officers’ selection

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The decision of the headquarters of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to appoint Returning Officers and Collation Officers for all categories of the 2019 elections appears to be creating confusion among the Resident Electoral Commissioners who regard the recruitment as their responsibilities.

The RECs believed that the responsibility to appoint the returning officers and collation officers for the elections at the ward, local government and state levels belonged to them and had started the process of recruiting the ROs and COs.

In previous elections, the RECs had been saddled with the task of appointing the collation officers and the returning officers.

This is said to be based on the fact that the RECs, who operate at the state levels, know the officers who are credible and could be called upon to handle the collation and announcement of results effectively.

However, a memo from the Office of the Secretary to the Commission, INEC, signed by the Secretary, Mrs. Rose Oriaran-Anthony, on January 30, instructed the RECs that the appointments of the ROs and COs would be done by the headquarters of the agency.

In the memo with ref: INEC/HQ/SEC/809/IV, Oriaran-Anthony stated, “It has been observed that some states have started recruiting Collation Officers for the 2019 general elections, which is not in line with the commission’s approved guidelines for sourcing of ad hoc staff.

“Kindly note that all Collation Officers for the 2019 general elections (i.e. RA, LGA. Federal Constituency and Senatorial) and all Returning Officers are to be recruited and posted by the headquarters.

But some of the RECs, who spoke on condition of anonymity on Saturday, alleged that the leadership of the commission might have other suspicious plans for the elections than had been stated.

One of them said, “It is not the duty of the headquarters to appoint returning officers and collation officers; that has never been the practice. The RECs know the people in the state and in the institutions in the state. How can anybody handpick ROs and COs from 36 states and the FCT for all the elections?” – Punch.

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