Ten Independent National Electoral Commission directors, heading different departments, have officially retired from service after attaining the mandatory 60 years of age, or 35 years of service.
Speaking at the send-off for the directors in Abuja on Sunday, INEC National Commissioner, Prof. Mohammed Adams, congratulated them on their retirement.
“As you retire, you shouldn’t worry yourself about the past, but about the future.
“I don’t think this is the end of the road. This is actually the beginning of another journey of your lives because you are all professionals in your respective fields,” he said.
Adams advised them to use their retirement to engage in meaningful activities that would yield them a good income.
He advised people in active service not to be scared of retirement but to create a niche for themselves in whatever capacity they found themselves in.
“We should be happy with whatever position you find yourself in; be grateful to God and create a niche for yourself,” he said.
The INEC Secretary, Rose Oriaran-Anthony, commended the retired directors for their hard work and dedication to service.
Oriaran-Anthony, represented by Maryam Musa, the Director, INEC Secretariat, congratulated them and wished them well in their future endeavours.
The INEC Director of Training, Dr Binta Kasim, encouraged the retirees to use their retirement to engage in whatever they derived pleasure in doing.
“We have a lot of people who have who still made a lot of achievements after retirement, including the owner of KFC; some others wrote books that fetched them good money,” Kasim said.
Blessing Obidiegwu, speaking on behalf of the retirees, said that they represented the last batch of INEC pioneer staff.
She appreciated the commission for the opportunity given to them to serve.
She advised those in active service to continue to render their best for the commission, while also urging that the gender policy of the commission be sustained.
“I am very happy that the gender struggle I started is moving on. With the number of women I am seeing here as directors the commission is doing well, “ Obidewu said.
Another retiree, Chima Duruaku commended INEC for the opportunity given to them to make modest contribution to its development and the electoral process.
He also appreciated the recognition from the commission.
Duruaku advised INEC to continue to build on institutional memories and mechanisms that would ensure that the legacies left behind were not only sustained but also built upon.
He said that expertise in the election administration in the country resided in the commission and most INEC achievements were home grown, hence the need to build on those structure to achieve more.
The retirees were Blessing Obidiegwu, Gender and Inclusivity; Anthony Abarowei, Finance and Accounts; Micah Lakumna, Administration; Alhaji Idris Aminu, Election and Party Monitoring; Olayiwola Oyeniyi, Finance and Accounts; and Chima Duruaku, Planning and Monitoring.
Others were Leonard Lortsor, Estate, Works and Transport; Ayodele Aluko, Voter Education and Publicity; Samson Lebari, Security; and Oluwatoyin Babalola, Legal Services and Drafting.