The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has warned the Committee of Vice Chancellors (CVC) against nominating academic staff involved in partisan politics in the forthcoming election.
The Chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, disclosed this Thursday during a meeting between the commission and CVC, where he also revealed that the commission requires 10,603 staff to support the various collation and declaration process.
He said that without the involvement of the country’s tertiary institutions, the commission would find it extremely difficult to conduct credible elections.
The chairman added that the collaboration between INEC and CVC has further enhanced the transparency and credibility of the elections in Nigeria as well as public confidence in the process.
Yakubu stated: “For the 2019 general election, the commission would require some 10,603 staff to support to support various collation and declaration processes. It is for this reason that this meeting is of crucial importance.
“We need the support of our universities to source the requisite member of interested academic staff on the understanding that this is essentially a national service.
“As in previous elections, we have requested each university for a specified number of academic staff as contained in my letter to the Vice Chancellors. Staff who are card carrying members or have participated in partisan politics should not be nominated.
“Similarly, those who may not be involved in partisan political activities but are known to have obvious political leanings should not be nominated.
“The commission will carefully scrutinise the list which must be submitted confidentially in the manner prescribed by the commission in my letter to the Vice Chancellors.”
Yakubu said the commission always appreciated the support of the vice chancellors and the collaboration with the universities often under strenuous circumstances.
Responding on behalf of CVC, the Vice Chancellor of Modibbo Adama University of Technology, Yola, Prof. Kyari Muhammed, said that the Vice Chancellors were committed to the Nigerian project, adding that they are committed to free and fair election.
He assured that they would give the commission all the needed support to guarantee free and fair election.
On his part, the Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission (NUC), Prof. Abubakar Rasheed, thanked INEC for the confidence reposed in them.
He, therefore, urged the Vice Chancellors to take the assignment very serious and nominate academic members that are as neutral as possible.
“We are being monitored, please safe this system to ensure free and fair election. I want to assure you sir, that these Vice Chancellors and others that are not there will not fail this election”, Rasheed said.