The administrative lapses and alleged malicious conduct of the INEC adhoc official in-charge of Idemmili North LGA, Mr. Chukwujekwu Nweke during the yet-to-be concluded Anambra Governorship Poll are partly, if not substantially blamed on the recruitment and use of career politicians both as substantive and adhoc staffs during the elections. There are sufficient evidence showing that the Independent National Electoral Commission has traditionalized the recruitment and use of career politicians both as substantive and adhoc senior staffs.
The likes of Mr. Lawrence Nwuruku and Mrs. Amina Bala Zakari, who are INEC special commissioners deployed for Anambra governorship poll, are a clear case in point. From our detailed investigation, Mr. Nwuruku is the former chairman of the People’s Democratic Party and a former PDP nominated commissioner and minister. Mrs. Amina Bala Zakari, 53, from Kazaure LGA of Jigawa State served as secretary (commissioner) for health & human services, social development and agriculture & rural development (acting secretary) in the Federal Capital Territory administration under the then PDP-controlled regime of Malam Nasri El-Rufai between 2004 and 2007. She was reportedly nominated to her current position as INEC commissioner by Malam El-Rufai in 2010.
Today, while Mr. Nwuruku still reportedly maintains his affection with the PDP, Mrs. Amina Bala Zakari is said to have soft spot for All Progressives Congress (APC). This is because of the roles in the said poll, of her mentor and nominator, Malam Nasri El-Rufai, who is a well pronounced member of the APC. As INEC special commissioners for Anambra State Governorship Poll, they have reportedly continued to serve as major access points for their erstwhile (?) political parties.
For instance, Mr. Tony Nwoye’s vivid public reference to Mr. Lawrence Nwuruku in a number of his public programs after the main poll is a case in point. It is also believed in many quarters that what gave the APC impetus to import hundreds of fake voters during the poll, which was scuttled by security agencies, was the presence of one of its apologists as “a visiting special INEC commissioner for Anambra governorship poll”. It is further submitted that, but for disorganization of Malam El-Rufai’s movement in Awka, this “super link” would have paid off.
The error of recruiting and using career political activist lecturers as INEC’s senior adhoc staffs has also become a recurring decimal. The duo of Mr. Chukwujekwu Nweke and Mr. Alex Anene is one of such examples. While Mr. Nweke allegedly compromised the conduct of the gubernatorial poll in Idemmili North on 16th of November, 2013, Mr. Alex Anene, in connivance with compromised media outfits sneaked into a private hotel in Awka and announced the concocted results of a senatorial election and returned his perceived pay master as winner.
As Anambra State governorship supplementary poll is few days away, we urge INEC to be mindful of those special commissioners designated for the important poll. This means that the Commission’s searchlight should be beamed round the clock on them, with particular attention on Mrs. Amina Bala Zakari. If INEC has condemned El-Rufai’s commando style entrance into the State in connection with the said poll, it should go farther than that by looking inward to find out “who was in the house for him and for what purposes”. The Commission should also put in place measures to professionalize its top substantive and adhoc staff management by appointing people from core and professional CSOs including academia and civil service into its top staff management.
Emeka Umeagbalasi, Chairman of the Board
Comrade Justus Ijeoma, Head, Publicity Desk