Just six months to the 2023 general election, Information and Communications Technology (ICT) director at the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has been removed from INEC headquarters.
Engr Chidi Nwafor was moved from Abuja to serve as the commission’s administrative secretary in Enugu State.
Nwafor was replaced by Engineer Paul Omokore who was director, Planning and Monitoring Department.
INEC had also redeployed two Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) and eight directorate level staffers in addition to 385 employees earlier redeployed nationwide in effort to enhance efficiency.
INEC’s commissioner of Information and Voter Edification Barr. Festus Okoye, said the redeployment was in line with the Commission’s policy.
INEC in the statement entitled: Redeployment Of Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECS) and Posting of Staff said the redeployments/postings take immediate effect.
“Handing and taking over should be concluded on/or before Friday 26th August 2022,” the statement said.
Also redeployed are: Engineer Paul Omokore director, Planning and Monitoring Department, Headquarters, Abuja now director ICT, Headquarters, Abuja; Engr Chidi Nwafor, director, ICT now administrative secretary, Enugu State; Mr Chima Duruaku, administrative secretary, Anambra State now director, Planning and Monitoring Department, Headquarters, Abuja.
Others are: Mr Jude Okwuanu, administrative secretary, Enugu State now administrative secretary, Anambra State; Usman Musa Wase, acting director, Human Resource Management, Headquarters, Abuja now acting administrative secretary, Nasarawa State; Mr Salisu Garba, director in the Electoral Operations Department now director Procurement, Headquarters, Abuja; Barr. Waziri Zanna, acting administrative Secretary, FCT now acting director, Human Resource Management, Headquarters, Abuja; and Godwin Wada Edibo, acting administrative secretary, Nasarawa State now acting administrative secretary, FCT.
However, the change in the ICT department had sparked concerns in some quarters following the timing and sensitivity of that department to the electoral process.
The removal of the ICT director comes barely weeks after the Ekiti and Osun State governorship elections which were used to test the electronic transmission of results which was recently passed into law by the National Assembly.
Also, there are concerns over the need to avoid hiccups in the department which has become critical to the entire electoral system ahead of the 2023 general election.
Nwafor, sources said, has been one key figure driving the ICT revolution in INEC since the tenure of Prof Mahmud Jega as the commission’s chief executive. His movement from a technical to a clerical position away from the headquarters has raised some concerns.
A source said he was strategically removed due to 2023 forthcoming presidential election.