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INEC chairman urges new REC to uphold neutrality

The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, has urged the newly sworn-in Resident Electoral Commissioner, Etekamba Umore, to remain neutral while discharging his duties.

The National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, INEC, Sam Olumekun, disclosed this in a statement on Tuesday.

The Senate had on November 2023 approved the appointment of 10 nominees of President Bola Tinubu as RECs.

The appointment followed Tinubu’s request for confirmation of the nomination of the RECs for INEC by the provisions of Section 154(1) of the Constitution.

Mahmood swore in nine of the RECs on December 12 2023, noting that the 10th REC-designate would be sworn in  January on the expiration of the tenure of the REC representing Akwa Ibom State.

According to the Tuesday statement, Umoren has been deployed to Delta State following the expiration of the tenure of the last holder of the office on  January 29, 2024.

The statement read, “The commission held its regular weekly meeting today, Tuesday, January 30, 2024.

“The meeting was preceded by the swearing-in of Mr Etekamba Udo Umoren, as Resident Electoral Commissioner and deployed to Delta State following the expiration of the tenure of the last holder of the office yesterday, Monday, January 29 2024.

“The Chairman of the commission, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, urged the new REC to adhere strictly to his oath of office which requires neutrality and impartiality in the discharge of his duties.

“He also enjoined the new REC to abide by the commission’s Code of Conduct and sustain regular consultations with stakeholders.”

Umoren is an indigene of Akwa Ibom State and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Geography from the University of Benin.

He served in various capacities in the Akwa Ibom State Civil Service, rising to the position of Permanent Secretary.

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