By Michael Oche
Contrary to various conspiracy theories surrounding the redeployment of Engr. Chidi Nwafor, as the Director of ICT at the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, sources have revealed it was the former Director of ICT who actually requested to be moved from the department.
Our correspondent gathered from multiple sources that Nwafor had cited conflict of interest, being from Anambra State where Peter Obi, the Labour Party Presidential candidate hails from as his reason.
Some prominent Nigerians, especially in the opposition political parties had queried what they termed as “suspicious” the redeployment of Nwafor who was redeployed as the Administrative Secretary, Enugu State.
A leading opposition voice and former Minister of Education, Oby Ezekwesili had said, “It makes absolutely no sense to change a “winning team” except of course there is something more to this.
“The incredible difference that competent integration of Technology has brought to our electoral process makes one nervous about the redeployment of @inecnigeria‘s Team that achieved so much.
“How then can reward for work well-done be redeployment in an election year? Intriguing!”, she queried.
However, our correspondent gathered that Nwafor asked to be redeployed citing conflict of interest with the Presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Party Obi.
The source said, “Nwafor is from Anambra state, same as Peter Obi. On a personal note, he is close to the Labour Party Presidential Candidate. They have known each other for years. In an election where the BVAS machine technology will make all the difference, it made sense for him not to be in charge of that unit.”
“It gives more credibility to the process. I can tell you that it was him who actually requested to be redeployed”, the source added.
Meanwhile, some Civil Society Organisations, CSOs have said the redeployment of Nwafor will in no way affect the conduct or performance of the BVAS machines during the 2023 general elections.
Yabagi Sani, Chairman of IPAC, the umbrella body of all the political parties in Nigeria had said there is no cause for alarm over the changes in INEC.
“There can’t be anything wrong with that. It is a normal managerial activity. The management of INEC has the right to move their staff from one office to another to improve their work in the Commission.
“One cannot question that because it is not against their rules and the Constitution. It is in order; they have the right to always reshuffle,” Sani said.