By Emmanuel Oloniruha
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has re-constituted its Election Monitoring and Support Centre (EMSC) Committee ahead of the Ekiti and Osun governorship elections.
The committee, according to a statement issued on the commission online newspapers, was inaugurated by INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, on Monday in Abuja, to also plan for a successful 2019 general elections.
Yakubu, while inaugurating the committee said for the 2019 general elections to be successful, the Commission also needed to constantly track all levels of its preparations to ensure that things go according to plan.
He implored the committee not to forget the two governorship elections holding in Ekiti State on July 14 and in Osun State on Sept. 22.
The INEC boss also reminded the committee members that the Commission still has about five bye-elections to conduct in five states, including Katsina, Taraba, Bauchi and Cross River.
He warned against complacency, saying he would be prepared to wield the big stick against any “sleeping member” of the committee.
“I will personally be tracking your activities.
“The Committee’s Terms of Reference include establishing an operational framework for EMSC Secretariat at both headquarters and state offices to be fully functional for implementation, monitoring and support mechanisms for the 2019 general elections.
“Developing an operational framework for EMSC Secretariat platform including, securing fully operational platform resources, dashboard analytics, mobile apps support as well as data collection, reporting and communication tool.
“Developing operational manuals, facilitators’ guides and other relevant training materials for the effective functioning of the EMSC.
“Organising and conducting various levels of training at headquarters and in state offices for the effective implementation of the EMSC Work Plan.
“As well as implementing the EMSC Work Plan as approved by the Commission and carry out any other activities related to 2019 General Elections as may be assigned by the Commission from time to time,” he said.
According to Yakubu, the work of the committee is vital because of the need to constantly track planning mechanisms, and activities put in place for the smooth conduct of the next general elections.
He said that good planning was key for a good election, while proper monitoring of the plans put in place “will limit the areas of difficulty” during elections.
Yakubu attributed the successes recorded by the Commission in the Ibarapa East State Constituency bye-election held in Oyo State on June 2 to proper planning and tracking.
“Oyo bye-election was good. The processes were great and things went on smoothly.”
The 16-member Committee includes: Special Adviser to the Chairman, Prof Mohammad Kuna as Chairman; Chief Technical Adviser to the Chairman, Prof. Bolade Eyinla; Chief Press Secretary to the Chairman, Mr Rotimi Oyekanmi; Director, Planning and Monitoring, Mr Okechukwu Ndeche and Director, Electoral Operations, Mr Abdulrazak Yusuf.
Others include Director of ICT, Mr Chidi Nwafor; Director, Voter Registry, Engineer Iro Gambo; Director, Voter Education and Publicity, Mr Oluwole Osase-Uzzi; Director, Estate, Works and Transport, Ruth Endeley; Deputy Director (Election Management) and Mr Chima Duruaku.