From Francis Nansak, Lafia
As Nasarawa State prepares for Local Government elections come 26 May, 2018, Governor Umaru Tanko Al-Makura has taken steps to ensure that the elections hold.
The governor on Monday swore in the chairman and members of the newly constituted Nasarawa State Independent Electoral Commission (NASIEC).
Also sworn-in by the governor on Monday were a newly appointed permanent secretary and the two interim management committee chairmen of Keffi and Keana Local Government Councils.
According to him, the swearing in ceremony was necessitated by the vacuum created by the expiration of the tenure of office of the former chairman of the Nasarawa State electoral umpire.
“It is with a heavy heart and great sense of loss that I am performing this exercise in view of the recent demise of the former governor of Nasarawa State, Alhaji Aliyu Akwe Doma, OON,” he said.
He, however, maintained that the exigencies of office dictated that “we act in order to ensure that governance processes and conventions are carried out, as and when due. This, we believe, is more fitting, a farewell, to the late Governor.
Hence, I am addressing you today on this occasion of the swearing-in of the Chairman and Members of the Nasarawa State Independent Electoral Commission (NASIEC), a Permanent Secretary in the Nasarawa State Public Service, as well as Interim Management Committee Chairmen of Keana and Keffi Local Government Councils”.
He said the tenure of the erstwhile Chairman and some Members of the Nasarawa State Independent Electoral Commission (NASIEC) had expired, thereby creating a vacuum and the necessity to fill the existing vacancy therein.
According to the governor, it became imperative to reconstitute the Commission as he earlier submitted names of nominees to the Nasarawa State House of Assembly for confirmation of the Chairman and Members of the electoral body in the State.
He pointed out that a meticulous consultations with regards to consideration of the backgrounds, wealth of experience and track records of the appointees were made and that he believed that the appointees have met the required criteria.
Al-Makura charged them to justify the confidence reposed on them considering the fact that their appointment came at a time the State is preparing to conduct the Local Government elections in May, 2018.
In his words, “you must exhibit honesty and integrity in your conduct. As you settle down to this onerous task, remember that the first assignment before you is to organise a free, fair and credible election that is in line with the Law and best practices.
“Accordingly, I call on you to ensure a level playing field for all the would-be candidates to be fielded by the registered political parties in the State. Let me place on record that Government would not interfere with the independence of the State electoral body in the due discharge of its responsibilities. I, therefore, call on all political parties to participate in the electioneering process without any fear of partisanship,” he said.
The AUTHORITY report that Henry John Omaku was sworn in as chairman of the state electoral umpire along with others who include Ibrahim Adamu, Abdullahi Jaji, Isah Yusuf and Godwin Makeri.
While Steven Dogo was sworn in as Permanent Secretary, with Ismaila Salloo and Mohammad Ayitogo as IMC Chairmen of Keffi and Keana Local Government Councils respectively.
The two IMC chairmen’s tenure would elapse in three Months.