- The Independent National Electoral Commission has put in a lot of work for the forthcoming 2019 general elections
- The commission in Plateau state says it will be recruiting 24,000 ad hoc workers to handle the elections
- According to report, those to be recruited will serve as presiding officers, assistant presiding officers, supervisory presiding officers, collation officers and returning officers
The Plateau office of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) will be recruiting 24,000 ad hoc workers to handle the forthcoming 2019 general elections.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the disclosure was made in Jos on Wednesday, January 9, by the resident electoral commissioner in the state, Malam Halilu Pai.
Legit.ng gathers that Pai said that a bulk of the workers would be serving NYSC members, while others would come from federal tertiary schools, ministries and departments.
Those to be recruited, he said, would serve as presiding officers, assistant presiding officers, supervisory presiding officers, collation officers and returning officers. He said that the ad hoc staff would undergo rigorous training after which oaths would be administered on them to guide against compromise.
Pai said that INEC had also engaged security personnel to check the background of applicants to ensure that people with links to politics and politicians were not engaged.
He said that non-sensitive materials were already being received, with 232 cartons of ballot boxes brought to Jos on Tuesday, January 8. He said: “We expect 464 cartons of ballot boxes; we have so far received half. The rest will arrive in Jos very soon."
The official said that 17 7.5 KVA power generators had also been received and would be deployed to each of the 17 local governments in Plateau, while 207 5.5 KVA power generators had also been received for the registration area centres.
He said that contracts had been awarded for the repair of the “heavily dilapidated’’ INEC offices in Kanke and Mangu, while another contract had been awarded for the construction of a central collation centre at the INEC state headquarters in Jos.
Pai said that trainings were already being organised for security personnel that would be involved in the election exercise, adding that emphasis was on effective crowd handling, integrity and impartiality.
He said that INEC had met with stakeholders, including religious, traditional, community and youth leaders, to seek their cooperation toward free and credible polls, adding that their response had been “very impressive’’.
He said: “All the stakeholders appear ready to support us and offer maximum cooperation. Everyone appears keen and ready to play his or her own role to ensure a free and fair election."
According to him, meetings with INEC permanent workers have also become more regular because of their crucial role toward the success of the elections scheduled to hold on February 16 and March 2.
He said: “We try to admonish the INEC staff against compromise. We have tried to motivate them and also let them know that those found to have compromised standards will face severe sanctions. We have also tried to ensure that the workers are well cared for so that they will not be tempted by politicians."
The INEC commissioner appealed to politicians to play the game by the rules of the electoral process to ensure a smooth, simple and credible exercise, and promised that INEC would be fair to all.
He expressed gratitude to the political parties in Plateau for eschewing violence in the campaigns, noting that no “evil development’’ had been reported in the ongoing electioneering so far.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng previously reported that the INEC inaugurated two committees to ensure the smooth conduct of the 2019 general election.
The swearing-in ceremony took place on Thursday, January 3, at the commission’s headquarters in Abuja.
Speaking after the inauguration, the INEC chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, said he would meet with the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) on Friday, January 4, by 4pm at the union’s secretariat to discuss the strike it embarked on and how it affects the election.
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