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INEC confirms Siege on Lokoja office; Nigerian Army restores order

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In a startling turn of events, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has officially confirmed a siege on its State Headquarters in Lokoja, Kogi State.

Earlier today, a mob descended upon the office, barricading all entrances and disrupting routine operations, preventing staff from carrying out their duties. adsbygoogle || []).push({}); This obstruction also hindered attorneys representing political parties involved in the recent off-cycle governorship election from accessing crucial election documents and materials.

Swift intervention was necessitated to defuse the tense situation, prompting the Nigerian Army to step in. Their involvement proved crucial in restoring order at the State Headquarters, and security agencies on the scene have given assurances that they will maintain normalcy on the premises going forward.

Dr. Hale Gabriel Longpet, the Resident Electoral Commissioner, has issued a statement expressing the commission’s commitment to providing unimpeded access to all materials necessary for political parties and litigants to prosecute their petitions. Despite the unsettling events, the INEC Kogi State office remains resolute in upholding transparency and ensuring a fair legal process for all parties involved.

The motive behind the siege remains unknown, and investigations are expected to be launched to determine the identity and motivations of those responsible for this brazen act. The incident highlights the challenges faced by electoral bodies in safeguarding the integrity of democratic processes.

This development comes amidst a concurrent event where INEC is honoring eight retired staff members in Abuja. The ceremony, emphasizing the importance of serving without blemish, serves as a stark contrast to the chaos in Lokoja. As the INEC community reflects on the challenges and rewards of electoral service, a call for continued mentorship from senior staff to the younger generation echoes, underscoring the dedication required to uphold the democratic process in Nigeria.

In another development, INEC is also honoring eight retired staff members in Abuja, emphasizing the importance of serving without blemish. In a send-off ceremony for two retired directors, three deputy directors, and three other staff members from the Voter Education and Publicity (VEP) Department, the Secretary to the Commission, Rose Oriaran-Anthony, urged current staff to emulate the retirees’ dedication and patriotism.

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Meanwhile, as the ceremony unfolded in Abuja, the INEC community reflected on the challenges and rewards of electoral service, with a call for continued mentorship from senior staff to the younger generation. The celebration served as a reminder of the dedication required to uphold the democratic process in Nigeria.

INEC honours retired staff, tasks members on service without blemish

The retired directors were the immediate pass director, Mr Ayodele Aluko and his predecessor, Mr Nick Dazang.

The retired deputy directors were Mr Andy Ezeani, Dr Chukwuemeka Ugboaja, and Chinwe Ogbuka; while the retired Staff members were Mrs Peace Ugo, Mrs Josephine Ozoemena and Mrs Dorothy Inyang.

Oriaran-Anthony urged staff members of the commission to emulate the retirees by being hard-work serve and dedicated in their services to the commission and the nation.

“I want to encourage those of you in the service that hard work pays. It may seems nobody is watching what you are doing but somebody somewhere is seeing. But most importantly, God Almighty who reward in public what you do in secrete is watching you.

“My dear staff of the commission, I want to use this opportunity. We are celebrating them today because they retired blamelessly. Let us celebrate when it is your time.

“Sacrifice your time, be dedicated to your work, and the money, recognition and the others will come,” Oriaran-Anthony said.

The secretary who poured encomiums on each of the retirees on their quality of service and personal traits exhibited during their service years, congratulated them for successful completion of their services to Nigeria.

Oriaran-Anthony advised them to continue to be good ambassadors of INEC.

“You have served this commission diligently, meritoriously. You have to bow out with your head held high. No blemish, no complain.

“Please, we want you to continue to represent us as good ambassadors, because when we see you, we are proud that you came out from this commission.

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“You have served this commission, but I want to let you know that at any time, you might be called upon again to come and serve, either this commission or your country.

“In whatever capacity you are called upon to serve, do not say no when you can say yes,” Oriaran-Anthony, said.

Also speaking at the event, National Commissioner, Mrs May Agbamuche-Mbu, congratulated the retirees for their successful completion of their meritorious service with their integrity intact.

Agbamuche-Mbu said that though to serve in INEC was a divine privilege, it came with its own challenge but they were able to navigate those challenges in which many members of the public were not aware of.

“INEC job, you go for elections sleeping rough. That is why when people speak ill of INEC, I stand up against it, because they don’t know what you suffer.

“May be one day one of you will do a documentary on what you suffer in the name of organizing election,” she said.

The national commissioner urged members of staff to continue to be patient and respect each others.

The Chief Technical Adviser to INEC Chairman, Prof Bolade Eyinla, also congratulating the retired members of staff said working in INEC was one of the most difficult places to work in Nigeria because of the nature and demands of the work.

He advised the retirees to pay attention to their health, resources and children.

“Manage your resources well and don’t fall into the hands of people with ponzi schemes. There is no 110 per cent return on investment anywhere.

“Also in your retirement, put an eye on your children. Your children’s success is your success,” Eyinla advised.

He advised the senior members of staff INEC to continue to mentor the younger ones.

“Increasingly we have beginning to see very experiencing people leaving. But we are also happy we are seeing younger people coming up.

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“This I think is a credit to people who are leaving that have been able to mentor people who are now growing into positions. But don’t forget to teach them as you are going that service to father land is important,” Eyinla said.

The Director of VEP, Mrs Mary Nkem, said that the department deemed it necessary to celebrate the special individuals who had not only served meritoriously, but have also made the INEC and Nigeria proud.

Nkem said that the retired members of staff made immense contributions to the development of the VEP Department, promoting democracy in the country.

“Doing so with so much commitment and unblemished record is no mean feat at all and should be celebrated,” Nkem said.

The Director of the Commission’s Secretariat, Mrs Maryam Musa, advised the retired staff members to be engaged in meaningful activities in their retirement.

Speaking on behalf of the retires, Dazang commended the staff members of the VEP department for honouring them after retirement, describing it as encouraging and touching.

She urged the department and the commission to sustain the guesture for other behind and also translate it into the conduct of more exquisite as superlative elections.

“All that we try to do in time past was to see how we could lay the foundation for credible elections.

“Our prayer is that those who are coming after us will build on what we have started and they will even excel, do better and surpass the record that we have put in place,” Dazang said.

On his part, Aluko said they were proud to have successfully serve the Commission and its achievement over the years, saying the management of electronics process is for the tea party.

“We believe that INEC has come a long way and we will continue to achieve more.

“We also believe our country will continue to become to become better as we move ahead. We pray for our country. We believe this country will be okay and we also hope we move forward,” Aluko said.

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