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2021 LG Polls: Kaduna Gov reaffirms commitment to e-voting

…Swears-in SIECOM Chairman.

…Governor says, “Our reward of hard work is in heaven.”

by Achadu Gabriel, Kaduna

Kaduna State Governor, Mall Nasir El-Rufai, has said the State has improved the electronic voting machines used in 2018 and will organize even better local government elections in August, 2021.

The governor made the promise, while speaking at the swearing-in of Dr. Saratu Binta Dikko-Audu for a second term as chairman of the Kaduna State Independent Electoral Commission (KAD-SIECOM).

El-Rufai, who described Dr Saratu Binta Dikko-Audu as someone, who is tough, smart and independent-minded, said that “She will never be forced to do anything wrong.”

The governor added that, “Under her leadership, Kaduna became the first State to conduct elections under electronic voting (even when) there were problems with the Electronic Voting Machines.

“But now, with the new improved machines, I think we’ll conduct an even better election. I am very happy that, from today, under her leadership, we know that the election will take place as scheduled for August 2021,” he added.

According to the governor, ‘”Part of the reason why it took time to get her confirmation through the State House of Assembly is because many of our political colleagues were upset that under her watch, the APC lost some local governments.

“She did nothing wrong. The APC won many elections. We have won more elections than the ones we have lost. Unlike others, we can live with the loss once in a while. And we do not punish people that conduct elections that we lost,” he added.

El-Rufai also disclosed that, “Various petitions were sent against her clearance by the State House of Assembly. But our State House of Assembly has integrity. They took their time, investigated everything; and today, we have our chairman for another five-year term.”

The governor also swore-in five new Permanent Secretaries and the new Director-General of the Public Procurement Authority, and told the new appointees that “working for Kaduna State requires a public servant to be on active duty 24 hours a day and seven days a week of hard and thankless work.”

The governor, however, said that “There is nothing better than the honest prayers of ordinary people of Kaduna State, when public servants do what they are supposed to do in an honest way with integrity.”

Addressing the families and friends of the appointees, the governor appealed to them, saying, “Please, help them preserve their integrity. Be patient with them, they will work on Saturdays and Sundays. 

“They will work day-and-night. Give them the support and time to be able to do this. And, we hope, our reward will be in heaven,” he added.

El-Rufai disclosed that the permanent secretaries that were sworn-in were “carefully selected” from a long list of over 1,000 Directors and others from outside the service.

“So, we have a mix of competences and experiences to improve the quality of our service delivery,” the governor noted.

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