Some retired directors of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) have called for the development of an institutional knowledge repository in the commission to preserve the wealth of knowledge and experience possessed by the retiring staff.
The retired directors maintained that for an institution such as the INEC, preservation, and sharing of knowledge holders experience holds enormous potential and a great opportunity as the first line of recourse for information to drive policy and strategy of the commission.
They, therefore, opined that knowledge-holders should not be allowed to go without harnessing their experiences into the repository.
They spoke through the immediate past Director of Planning and Monitoring Directorate, Chima Duruaku, at a send-off ceremony organised in their honour by the commission at Valencia Hotel, Abuja on Saturday, 2nd December 2023.
The retired directors are Mrs. Blessing Obidiegwu –Gender and Inclusivity; Anthony Abarowei – Finance and Accounts; Micah Lakumna – Administration; Alhaji Idris Aminu– Election and Party Monitoring and Olayiwola Oyeniyi- Finance and Accounts.
Others were Mr. Leonard Iortsor- Estate, Works and Transport; Ayodele Aluko – Voter Education and Publicity; Samson Lebari – Security and Mrs. Oluwatoyin Babalola the current Director of Legal Services and Drafting who was recently appointed as a Resident Electoral Commissioner.
While delivering the vote of thanks on behalf of his colleagues to appreciate the Commission for recognising their immense contribution to the Commission and nation building, Mr. Duruaku observed that the INEC is losing many of its knowledge-holders due to retirement from time to time.
He maintained that the true knowledge-holders in election administration reside in the Commission and those who have developed solutions to the problems associated with election administration over the years were home grown.
According to him, “when people who have a wealth of knowledge walk away without emptying themselves back into the system, it becomes a problem”.
The Director recommended that to build an institutional knowledge repository, a platform should be created for knowledge-holders to empty themselves where questions can be asked as to how and why they developed some ideas and initiatives at least 6 months before retirement.
The INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu represented by INEC National Commissioner, Prof. Sani Muhammad Adams SAN, congratulated the retired members of staff for the successful completion of their services to the Commission and to the country.
He advised them to see their retirement period as another open opportunity for the future.
“As you retire, you shouldn’t at any time worry yourself about the past but the future. “Don’t think this is the end of the road. This is actually the beginning of another journey of your lives because you all are professionals in your respective fields,” he said.
Prof. Sani Muhammad Adams SAN advised them to use their retirement period to engage in meaningful activities that would yield them good income. He advised people in active service not to fear retirement but to create a niche in whatever capacity they find themselves.
INEC’s Hon. Secretary Mrs. Rose Oriaran-Anthony, represented by the Director, Commission Secretariat Hajia Maryam Iya Musa congratulated the retired directors for their meritorious service to the commission.
The scribe said the commission acknowledged their experiences and knowledge on election matters and will not hesitate to call on them should the need arise and wished them success in their future endeavors.
She said her doors are always open to them and counseled them to keep themselves busy with activities that are in consonance with their health requirements.
Mrs. Blessing Obidegwu speaking on behalf of the Retired Directors said that the celebrated directors represented the last set of the pioneer staff who were employed in 1988. She appreciated the Commission for the opportunity given to them to serve though the road was sometimes rough and tough, but they were able to end well.
She urged directors that are still in active service to continue rendering their best for the commission while urging that the Gender Policy of the commission be sustained. She stated that “I am very happy that the gender struggle I started is moving on and with the number of women I see here as directors, the commission is doing well“.