We‘ll use Kogi, Bayelsa gov polls to correct wrongs of 2019 polls – Electoral institute

INEC emblem
INEC emblem

The Electoral Institute, Abuja on Friday said it would use the Kogi and Bayelsa governorship elections to correct all the wrongs from the lessons learnt during the 2019 general elections.

The Director-General of the institute, Saád Idris, said this at a Policy Dialogue series tagged, “Dynamics of Delegation: Reforms in the Recruitment, Training and Deployment of Ad-hoc Election Personnel” in Abuja.

Mr Idris said the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mahmood Yakubu, has been engaging with stakeholders since the 2019 general elections, to know what went wrong to improve on subsequent elections.

“Today we drew stakeholders from the academia, civil society among others to this meeting meant to interrogate the electoral process, going forward to know what we did not do right.

“The chairman has been making effort to address the challenges faced, so this is a part of that effort to look into the recruitment, training and deployment of ad-hoc staff during elections.

“The effort of the commission is clear, it has owned up to some things that it did not do right, so beginning from the Kogi and Bayelsa elections, you will see improvement.’’

Mr Idris said the plans to correct the electoral process had started, adding that “we are not going to wait for general elections before correcting all the wrongs.’’

He explained that the meeting was part of the mandate to organise a policy dialogue, to engage in dialogue for reforms, recruitment, training and deployment of ad-hoc staff.

He also said the dialogue was with particular reference to what happened in 2019 elections.

Earlier, Shola Omotola, Lead Speaker and lecturer, Federal University of Oye-Ekiti, Ekiti State called for expansion of the recruitment data base of ad-hoc staff to include ex-NYSC members in order to guarantee continuity.

Mr Omotola, therefore, called for training and re-training of ad-hoc staff and the need to put mechanisms in place to enable such staff to also vote on Election Day in order not to disenfranchise them.

He advised INEC to imbibe the culture of timely recruitment and training of ad-hoc staff to enable them work effectively.

Mr Omotola also said there was need to guarantee their security as well as increase their remunerations for greater performance.

The Chairman of the Board of Electoral Institute, Adedeji Soyebi, said a lot had been learnt from the lessons shared by various stakeholders at the occasion.

Mr Soyebi said ad-ahoc staff played critical role in the electoral process, adding that INEC could not afford to overlook such role.

“So the reforms in the delegation of responsibilities would constantly be reviewed,” he said.

He said the institute would continue to improve on the electoral process in consonance with the commitment of INEC to ensure free, fair and credible elections and acceptable by all.

(NAN)

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