AS part of 2015 preparation, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has concluded its controversial internal re-organisation with the commission now having 29 directors from the earlier eight five. The structure of the commission has also witnessed restructuring with nine new departments and 10 directorates, headed by directors and supported by deputy directors heading units within the directorates and departments.
The department of Logistics is now combined with that of operation while voters’ education is now joined with publicity and gender issues. Political party registration is now combined with political party monitoring just as the Commission has revived its Electoral Institute with specific emphasis on training and research.
Contrary to earlier reports, none of the directors was sacked even as
top directors with one or two years to retire are offered options of
exiting now with full pay or redeployment to the Institute to engage in training and research matters ahead of the 2015 general elections.
A top official of the commission who let the Nigerian Tribune into
details of the restructuring explained that logistics and operations
were merged to address issues of late arrival of electoral materials while issues of voters education is now a top priority in the commission.
“We met on ground a commission with 85 directors with a department
having three, four directors. We met a commission with multiple
departments with overlapping responsibilities. We have streamlined all
that now and we have an efficient structure that can meet the expectation of Nigerians,” the top official who is not authorised to be quoted on the matter, said.
It was also learnt that the restructuring has addressed the issue of
federal character in the postings of directors with each of the six
geo-political zones now having their fair share out of the 29 new
“In the past, a state has as much as nine directors. Now the 29 new
directors are posted with federal character in mind.INEC is no longer lopsided in term of postings“, the official said.
On how the restructuring was handled without the sack of any director, the official disclosed that the package prepared by the commission for directors with one or two years to retire did not include option of sack.
“We told them you have two options. One is to retire now and still
collect all your entitlements. About two of those affected have taken
this offer. The second option is to get posted to the Institute. So I
don’t know where the press get the story of mass sack,” he clarified.
It was also gathered that the commission is enforcing a new code of conduct
which barred its officials from directly dealing with governors and
other public officials except officials of the registered political
parties through the department of political party registration and monitoring.
Nigerian Tribune was told that because of this new policy, about two
governors were turned down when they approached the commission and
requested actions to be taken on some issues.
“We told those governors pointedly that we have no business with them as we are relating directly with their political parties. Because of this new approach, governors no longer visit us here.
“In the past, people used to bring money
in Ghana Must Go to the commission. Nobody dares do that now because we
have sacked many officials found wanting. We are not compromising on issues of
discipline. We have sufficiently scared politicians since we assumed
office here in the commission,” the top official explained.