Those recognised include officials who were seen educating voters on the modalities for casting votes during the recent council polls in Edo State.
Another staff, whose details was not disclosed, said to have swam across two rivers and walked across a stream to get to the polling unit and prepared it for elections before 8am during the recent Bauchi South senatorial by-election would receive a letter of commendation this year and possible an award next year.
Speaking at the 2016/2017 maiden merit award held recently in Abuja, INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, said: “Our staff are among the most dedicated in the public service in Nigeria. I have no doubt about this.
“Where necessary, the commission has condemned staff who ran foul of her processes and procedures, but condemnation of staff makes no sense outside the context of commendation.
“The extent to which some of our staff go to ensure that polling units open at 8am and elections are conducted is simply amazing.
“In one of the elections we conducted recently in one of the local government areas in Bauchi South Senatorial District, one of our staff swam across two rivers and walked across a stream to get to our polling unit.
“I have asked the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) to send details of that staff. We are going to write a letter of commendation to him.
Other parameters being equal, such staff will qualify for the awards next time, but for this time, that person deserves a letter of commendation from the commission.”
Yakubu further said the commission is what it is on account of the quality and dedication of its staff, adding: “The staff make INEC.
Therefore, every opportunity we have to celebrate our staff is something this commission would always support, not only open-handedly, but also in every legitimate way.
“It is not just the fact that our terms and conditions of service provide for this kind of awards once in a year, but it is also the proper thing to do, taking into cognizance the number of chairmen of INEC had had.
“We have had so many National Commissioners and RECs, but like birds of passage, we are here for a few years and we are gone; the staff are permanent.
“Elections are ultimately conducted by human beings, not commissions.
So, the integrity of the election managers is key to the outcome of elections.”