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South West RECs meet in Ibadan, highlight plan for 2022-2026

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The Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the South-West, yesterday, converged in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, to validate the draft document on strategic plan for the commission’s operations from 2022 to 2026.

The RECs in the six states of the zone led their respective management staff to the retreat.

The RECs are Prof. Olayinka Raji (Ogun), Dr. Tella Adeniran (Ekiti), Mr. Sam Olumekun (Lagos), Mr. Segun Agbaje (Osun), Mr. Rufus Akeju (Ondo) and Mutiu Agboke (Oyo.)

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The draft INEC 2022-2026 strategic plan and strategic programme of action are to replace the current INEC strategic plan of action (2017-2021) that will end this year.

At the two-day retreat, Agboke stressed the need for the draft document to be tabled for discussion for possible implementation.

He said that the entire INEC programmes, such as vision, mission, values, strategic objectives, key actions and activities were streamlined into the two documents, tagged ‘Strategic Plan (SP) and Strategic Programme of Action (SPA).’

Agboke said that some of the objectives of the SPA 2022- 2026 were “to provide electoral operations, systems and infrastructure to support the delivery of free, fair, credible and inclusive elections.

“Also to improve voter and civic education and promote knowledge of sound democratic electoral processes and to register political parties and monitor their operations, among others.’’

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He said the committee set up by the commission to develop the 2022-2026 strategic plan had concluded its work, adding: “The review of the draft document has also been completed by the South-West states, having taken into consideration their respective states’ experiences and peculiarities to identify specific issues that should be factored into the implementation of the document.

“The outcome of each state’s review is now ready to be injected into this validation meeting to ensure that cross-cutting issues and challenges, based on shared interests, are also taken into consideration.”

He said the process of validating the drafted strategic document must, however, be guided by the need for ownership of the process by the commission and engagement with various key stakeholders in the electioneering process.

The REC, therefore, urged the participants to critically look into all areas, indicating noticeable gaps, inputs, recommendations and the likes.

These, he said, should include the peculiarities of the states in the zone, such as Oke-Ogun area of Oyo State, Lagos environment, Ondo riverine areas, as well as the cultural nature of Ekiti and Osun states.

In his remark, the National Commissioner supervising South-West Zone, Dr. Adekunle Ogunmola, urged the commission’s management staff at the retreat to do justice to the document.

He said that the commission would ensure that the country witness credible, free and inclusive general elections in 2023.

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