Ten directors from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) have officially retired, marking the end of an era for these stalwarts who have served in various capacities.
The retirements come as these directors reached the mandatory age of 60 or completed 35 years of dedicated service.
Speaking at the send-off ceremony in Abuja on Sunday, INEC National Commissioner, Prof. Mohammed Adams, extended heartfelt congratulations to the retirees and encouraged them to embrace this new chapter.
“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 in your lives because you are all professionals in your respective fields,” he said.
Adams emphasized the importance of using retirement to engage in meaningful activities that could yield financial rewards, urging those in active service not to fear retirement but to carve out a niche for themselves.
“We should be happy with whatever position you find yourself; be grateful to God and create a niche for yourself,” he said.
INEC Secretary, Mrs Rose Oriaran-Anthony, expressed appreciation for the hard work and dedication of the retired directors. Represented by the Director of INEC Secretariat, Mrs Maryam Musa, Oriaran-Anthony wished the retirees success in their future endeavors.
Dr. Binta Kasim, the INEC Director of Training, encouraged the retirees to pursue their passions during retirement, emphasizing the importance of finding joy in their chosen activities.
“We have a lot of people who still had a lot of achievements after retirement, including the owner of KFC; some others wrote books that fetched them good money,” Kasim said.
Mrs Blessing Obidiegwu, speaking on behalf of the retirees, expressed gratitude as the last batch of INEC pioneer staff and appreciated the commission for the opportunity to serve. She also urged those in active service to continue excelling and advocated for sustaining the gender policy of the commission.
Chima Duruaku, another retiree, commended INEC for the opportunity to contribute to its development and the electoral process. He highlighted the expertise within the commission, emphasizing the need to build on institutional memories and mechanisms for future success.
The retirees and their respective departments include Mrs Blessing Obidiegwu (Gender and Inclusivity), Anthony Abarowei (Finance and Accounts), Micah Lakumna (Administration), Alhaji Idris Aminu (Election and Party Monitoring), Olayiwola Oyeniyi (Finance and Accounts), Chima Duruaku (Planning and Monitoring), Mr. Leonard Lortsor (Estate, Works and Transport), Ayodele Aluko (Voter Education and Publicity), Samson Lebari (Security), and Mrs Oluwatoyin Babalola (Legal Services and Drafting).