The Resident Electoral Commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), serving in Akwa-Ibom State, Mr.
Mike Igini, has called on the 2021 batch ‘C’ Stream II corps members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) deployed to Lagos State, South west Nigeria to make honesty and integrity the hallmarks of their conducts.
The INEC Commissioner stated this while educating the corps members at the orientation camp, Iyana-Ipaja, Lagos on the electoral duties bestowed on them as corps members.
He disclosed that honesty and integrity are the values of those who will change the face of Nigeria, intimating them not to be deceived by politicians while on electoral duties at the polling units.
He said, “Let me tell you that honesty and integrity are the values of those who will change the face of Nigeria.
“And so, when you are called upon, to be electoral officers in the polling units, do not be deceived by politicians.
Do not emulate their bad conducts, they won’t last forever.
There is reward for honesty and integrity.
Igini while making an allusion to his electoral activities as REC in Akwa-Ibom State said, when he was accosted on election matters when he arrived the state, he clinged to his integrity.
“I told them I came to Akwa-Ibom to count ballot papers not money.
A trillion naira cannot change the will of the people.
Even though honesty is a moral choice, I encourage you to take the route of honesty because there will be consequences.
The INEC commissioner, who reminisced about his NYSC days, which was observed in Lagos, said INEC decided to sign an MoU with the NYSC because of its educated youths who can determine a lot of things about the country.
According to him, education is a leveler and it liberates, adding “when Prof Attahiru Jega was ASSU chairman, I was the President of Student Union in the University of Benin.
Upon my appointment as commissioner in 2010, I was the youngest in the Federation.
You can see how education liberates, how it is a leveler.
This is the purpose of making use of the NYSC.
A cross section of some members of the National Youth Service Corps in a parade.
Speaking on the powers wielded by the youths, Igini said the youths hold the largest population in Nigeria based on the INEC demographics, which makes it easier for the youths to be what they desire to be.
Igini said the youths can be change agents that will change the scope of leadership of the country, stating “you have to learn the ropes, you have a lot to learn, engage in jobs that will improve you.
Do not be bothered by these politicians, we are making it difficult for elections to be manipulated.
We have introduced a bio-modal electoral process which will make it impossible to circumvent the voters register.
If your fingerprints fails, your face cannot fail on the register.
Your face will always remain your face.
“Before, politicians can easily manipulate election results by converting the numbers of absentee voters on the register to their advantage in a polling unit but now, the register of present voters in an election in a polling unit is immediately generated which can be accessed on our website anywhere in the world.
Work in progress
When asked about the possibility of electorate being able to vote in an election at the comfort of their homes, the INEC commissioner said Nigeria’s ICT infrastructures are not yet developed to have such but quickly mentioned the progress of the electoral body in the election registration process.
He said, “Electoral process development is a work in progress.
What we have done is the initiation of online pre-voter registration register which is the first in Africa, you can register online, you will be made to choose a date and a location where you can do your biometrics.
The INEC REC did not hold back in extolling the ingenuity of the Director-General of NYSC for managing the youths and the pandemic in what should have eroded the legacies of the scheme and consumed it.
Igini said it is the quality of leadership bequeathed to the NYSC that has sustained it.
‘Everything rises and falls with leadership.
The difference between developed countries and developing countries is leadership.
Meanwhile, the State Coordinator of NYSC Lagos State, Mr Eddy Megwa, who described the commissioner as an astute administrator, a man of impeccable integrity and a friend of the NYSC, presented to him the nine books which are the reflections of the Director-General, Brigadier General Shuaibu Ibrahim on the scheme, telling him they are literatures which will enrich his library.
INEC commissioner tasks corps members on honesty, integrity