INEC: Jega, directors on war path over restructuring

By LEVINUS NWABUGHIOGU

ABUJA—The on-going, restructuring exercise in the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, may have set the senior staff of the Commission and the National Chairman, Professor Attahiru Jega on a “war” path.

Most of the directors affected by the shake-up announced on Tuesday were still unsettled with many of them expressing anxiety on their fate following the reorganization effected by Jega.

Many of them left early for home, yesterday, while some stayed away from office apparently because they were still in the dark on the new portfolios they would be assigned to if any.

Chief Press Secretary to the chairman, Mr. Kayode Idowu, however, told Vanguard, yesterday, that many of the directors affected by the reorganization would get over it even as he assured that it was not unexpected as he said INEC was an ongoing project.

Professor Jega had on Tuesday stunned the Commission by carrying out restructuring where various directorates and departments were collapsed into others which pruned down the directorates from 26 to nine.

Already, tongues have started waging, signaling disaffection with the development even as some alleged that the chairman unilaterally took the decision without consultations or meetings with other stakeholders in the Commission.

Even though no one would comment on the issue for fear of being victimized, it was learnt that the exercise was not transparently done as it targeted perceived “enemies” of the chairman who were also considered as unwanted distractions.

Mr. Idowu, however, deferred saying that the exercise was done to effectively reposition the Commission for the task ahead in 2015 and beyond.

His words: “INEC is undergoing reorganization. It is a process that started a long time. We have spoken about it in public that it is ongoing. These are phases of that reorganization. Departments are going to take off in the new configuration headed by people and these people have just been assigned”.

In that restructuring, we now have nine departments and nine directorates and that wasn’t what we had before.

“Every place has to be reengineered for maximum efficiency. The vision of this leadership like the honorable Chairman has always said is to make INEC the best managed body in Africa that will deliver credible elections as a matter of routine not as an exception.

“Leadership feels that one way to make this place efficient is to get the department and the directorates and other units in a way that there are no overlap of functions; there are specifically defined job schedules so that everybody knows what is doing and how it is contributing to the election management process. That’s what has taken place.”

Reacting to the speculations that the exercise has generated disenchantment among the staff especially the affected persons who now feel it was targeted at them, Idowu said it is natural for people to react that way.

“People will always feel anything, but there is co-operate vision. The co-operate vision is being implemented. People will always say something in that line. That does not take from the fact that the commission is reshaping for maximum efficiency.

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