President of the Alumni Association of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), Mr. Khaled Bolaji has urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to take advantage of the wide range of professionals its fold for electoral activities.
According to him, the institute’s alumni members who are domiciled in every state of the federation have what it takes to contribute to the success of the Commission in diverse roles as may be required from time to time.
Mr. Khaled made the comments when he led a delegation of six executive members of the association on a courtesy visit to the Commission’s headquarters in Abuja on 16th November.
He said: “As an institution, we have a role to play in your organisation. We need to let you know the kind of men and women that we have trained. As you may know, even Vice Chancellors of Universities are participants at the National Institute. We have all professions. The federal government has expended so much money on the men and women that have attended the National Institute and it is just good enough for the same government to make use of the same men and women that are out there as our members. That is why we are here to let you know that we are ready to contribute to your success as a Commission, either by monitoring or as electoral officers. We are in 36 states and Abuja. We will like to contribute to the success of this commission.”
Khaled added: “We are going to have a national conference in Abeokuta (Ogun state) on the 5th and 6th of December on National Re-orientation. The Vice President of the country will be present. Gen (Olusegun) Obasanjo (rtd) will give the keynote address. Gen Abdulsalami Abubakar (rtd) will be present. We believe that one of the problems we have is about values and we have to start from the basics. The conference is free. You can send the members of your Commission not only from the headquarters, but even from the states to come and listen to what the professionals are going to say about our values.”
Responding, Chairman of the Commission, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu said he noticed how proud the institute’s alumni members were about what they got or achieved from it. He commended the institute for resisting what he described as the temptation of affiliating with any University to award Master’s degree or doctorate in its programmes. The practice, he averred, “means there’s something of value about your programme that you probably consider superior to a Master’s degree or doctorate.” He enjoined the institute to “maintain the spirit.”
The INEC chairman also assured the visitors: “We (INEC) are happy to partner with you. The Commission will be represented at the conference.”
Other members in the delegation were: Senator Malam Wiliki, Ms Aishat Dankani, Mr. Salisu Auwal, Alhaji Ibrahim Shehu and Mr. Umar Ladipo