Involvement of bureaucrats in politics poses threat to democratic process — INEC

fd prof mahmood yakubu x
fd prof mahmood yakubu x

From Romanus Ugwu, Abuja

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has warned that the involvement of bureaucrats in politics will pose serious threat to the democratic gains recorded so far.

INEC chairman, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, expressed the feelings in his keynote address at the first quarterly meeting of the forum of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation with Secretaries to State Government held in Abuja on Friday.

Represented by a National Commissioner, Sam Olumekun, the commission’s boss said that credible elections engender effective bureaucracy.

“Despite the myriad of challenges enumerated above among others, the impact of democratic elections on the bureaucracy in Nigeria cannot be overemphasized. The remarkable democracy in Nigeria since the commencement of this dispensation has influenced a number of remarkable reforms in the nation’s bureaucracy with a view to driving effectively government policies and programmes to grow every sector towards achieving nation building.

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“The fact needs be stressed that credible elections engender effective bureaucracy. Conversely, when elections are fraught with malpractices, the recruitment process of political office holders is negatively impacted. In effect, public office holders may not have what it takes to put in place credible bureaucracy to better the lot of the ruled.

“I wish to conclude my remark by sounding this note of advice to all of us seated here today bureaucrats; we must continue to uphold utmost professionalism at all times. This is necessary as political office holders may easily lure you into politics thereby politicizing the bureaucratic set-up and destroy the fabrics of the profession. Political patronage among civil and public servants has the potential to destroy the gains attained over the years,” he said.

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On the efforts ahead of the 2023 general elections, he said: “In order to deepen the process, the Commission has carried out various innovations and activities including the expansion of voter assess to polling units in order to decongest the polling units and make the polling experience seamless. It has also introduced the use of technologies like; the creation of online portal for Continuous Voter Registrations and the in-person/physical registrations using the INEC Enrollment Device (IVED), the online registrations/Accreditation of Election observers, online submission of Nomination forms and list of Political Party Agents as well as the use of ( Bimodal Voters Accreditation System (BVAS) in the accreditation process in order to eliminate identity theft and INEC results viewing portal which allows the uploaded results from the polling units to be monitored real time by Nigerians and other critical stakeholders.

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“Having laid the preamble for this presentation, I consider it appropriate to detach the topic by defining the key terminologies in order to properly analyzed the topic and make it understandable. The word ‘Election’ in rudimentary terms means the democratic ways by which people choose their leaders who will govern them,” he said.

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