Adelani Adepegba, Abuja

The Independent National Electoral Commission has insured one million ad hoc staff and electoral officials who would participate in the forthcoming general elections.

The commission said the insurance scheme did not, however, cover election observers, adding that it needed over one million ad hoc staff for the polls.

The chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmoud Yakubu, said this at a forum tagged, ‘Dialogue with Nigeria Women towards the 2019 elections,’ organised by the electoral agency with support from the European Centre for Electoral Support, held in Abuja on Wednesday.

Responding to questions about the insurance cover for the electoral officials, he said, “The sheer number of Nigerians that we require to prosecute elections means we cannot rely only on our staff.

“The commission has a staff strength of a little over 16,000 and on elections day, we would require the services of over a million Nigerians. We draw most of our ad hoc staff from the National Youth Service Corps, so we insured the corpers and other election duty staff and we would continue to do so.”

Assuring that the integrity of the polls cannot be compromised, the INEC boss said the election cannot be manipulated by political parties reportedly collating the identification numbers of voters.

The Project Coordinator, European Centre for Electoral Support, Mr Rudolph Elbling, said his organisation would continue to partner with INEC in promoting the participation of women, youths, persons living with disabilities and other marginalised groups in the electoral process.

“Coming less than two weeks to the elections, it is our expectation that resolutions at this summit will create synergy and strengthen commitment of all stakeholders towards non-violent conduct of the next election,” he stated.

Meanwhile, the Deputy Director, Voter Education Department, INEC, Lakunuya Dorothy-Bello, has asked Nigerians to pick up their Permanent Voter Cards before the closing date.

Speaking during a rally on voter education at Wuse market and in Gwagwalada, she advised them to shun violence and all forms of electoral malpractices.

The rally was organised by Preventing Election Violence and Education for Inclusion in Nigeria in collaboration with the ECES, Embassy of Germany in Nigeria, INEC, Nigeria Women Trust Fund, and Joint National Association of People Leaving with Disabilities.

The Governance Advisor, ECES, Dominique Weerts, noted that the polls provided an opportunity for Nigerians to determine the direction of the country.

Copyright PUNCH.


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