INEC Chairman bags Gold Award in Public Service, dedicates it to staff, corps members

Posted by News Express | 2 December 2021 | 519 times

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•INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, receiving the Gold Award in Public Service. . . Wednesday in



Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, the Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commissions (INEC), was on Wednesday conferred with an inaugural Gold Award in Public Service by the ThisNigeria newspaper.

In a statement on Wednesday evening by Mr Rotimi Oyekanmi, the Chief Press Secretary to the INEC Chairman, the award is said to be in recognition of Yakubu’s efforts to reposition the country’s electoral system for free, fair, credible, and inclusive elections, despite daunting challenges.

Oyekanmi said that the award conferment took place at the newspaper’s well-attended Inaugural Lecture and Gold Prize ceremony, held at the Yar’Adua Centre in Abuja.

The INEC boss dedicated the award to the commission’s staff and members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) and other critical stakeholders involved in elections.

“In INEC, we are used to more of condemnation than commendation. So, when commendation comes, especially from a friend like Eric Osagie, we genuinely appreciate it.

“This recognition is dedicated to all the hardworking staff of INEC. But I would also like to dedicate this to all those who have constructively criticised the Commission.

“We cherish constructive criticisms. As a teacher all my life, I know that there can’t be progress without constructive criticisms,” Yakubu said.

He commended the role of the National Peace Committee (NPC), chaired by the former Head of State, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar (rtd), the security, political parties, civil society organisations and corps members for their critical roles on election duties.

Yakubu said: “But let me also recognize a category of Nigerians that are hardly recognized. Yet, they play a very, very critical role in conducting elections in the country.

“I am not referring to the security agencies that also play a very good role. I am not referring to other stakeholders – political parties, the media and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), but I am referring to election duty staff: those young Nigerians on national service.

“I have said it over and over again that you (National Youth Service Corps members) are among the most educated, the most hardworking, the most readily available election duty staff in Nigeria. We cannot do without you.”

The INEC chairman said that he recognised the critical role of the NYSC when the commission travelled to the Republic of Liberia for their election.

According to him, the Liberian Electoral Commission was battling with where to get election duty staff, and were looking for teachers and other categories of staff.

“The number of young Nigerian serving the nation in the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) is probably half of the population of the Republic of Liberia’. And so, in that respect, we have no issues with capacity,” he added.

Yakubu noted that INEC had just successfully concluded the Anambra Governorship Election and is preparing for the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Area Council election as well as governorship elections in Ekiti and Osun states.

According to Oyekanmi, two other individuals who also received Gold Awards were Gov. Nyesom Wike of Rivers for good governance, and the Registrar, Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), Prof. Ishaq Oloyede, for his contributions to the education sector.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Catholic Archbishop of Sokoto Diocese, Bishop Mattew Kukah, delivered a lecture on “National Cohesion for Sustainable growth and Progress,” with a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mr Mike Ozekhome, and former governorship candidate of the Labour Party for Kwara State, Mr Issa Aremu, as discussants. (NAN)

Source: News Express

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