The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Monday began training no fewer than 9,000 ad-hoc staff for the forthcoming Lagos East Senatorial and Kosofe Constituency II bye-elections.
INEC spokesperson, Femi Akinbiyi, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that the training was part of its preparations to ensure the success of rescheduled bye-elections.
He said the commission was determined to ensure free and credible elections that would be acceptable to all.
Mr Akinbiyi said the ad-hoc staff being trained during the three-day exercise were Presiding Officers (POs), Assistant Presiding Officers (APOs) collation officers and returning officers.
“We have already trained a set of SPOs (Supervisory Presiding Officers ) before the ENDSARS issue came up and truncated planning for the bye-elections earlier scheduled for Oct. 31.
“We have however organised a refresher training for these same SPOs at the weekend,” Mr Akinbiyi said.
He said other sets of electoral officers would be trained towards improving the performance of personnel to be deployed for the elections.
According to him, the three-day training held across the five local government areas in the state – Lagos East Senatorial District-Somolu, Kosofe, Ikorodu, Ibeju-Lekki and Epe – would be rounded-off on Wednesday.
Mr Akinbiyi said the commission would be engaging National Youth Service Corps members in the elections.
INEC on November 12 announced the rescheduling of the earlier postponed National and State Assembly bye-elections in 11 states for December 5.
The electoral body had shifted the bye-elections in Lagos, Bayelsa, Imo and Cross Rivers indefinitely from October 31 because of the violence that greeted the #EndSARS protests in some states.
Candidates of 12 political parties will be contesting in the Lagos East Senatorial bye-elections.
Eight candidates from various political parties will also contest in the Kosofe Constituency II, Lagos State House of Assembly bye-elections.
The Lagos East senatorial seat became vacant following the death of Bayo Osinowo, who was elected senator in 2019 on the platform of the APC.
The late Mr Osinowo replaced Gbenga Ashafa who represented the senatorial district on the platform of the same party for eight years.
Before his election into the senate, Mr Osinowo was a member of the Lagos State House of Assembly representing Kosofe Constituency 1 for four terms
Meanwhile, the bye-election into the Kosofe Constituency 11 is coming on the heels of its former occupant, Tunde Buraimoh, who passed on recently.
Prior to his election into the assembly, Mr Buraimoh had served as the chairperson of Kosofe Local Government Area between 1999 and 2002.
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