The Independent National Electoral Commission in Ekiti State on Thursday said all the ad hoc staff to be used to conduct the 2019 elections in the state will be examined to ascertain whether they have criminal records with the police and National Drug Law Enforcement Agency.
The commission also said 256,648 registered voters are yet to collect their permanent voter cards out of the 921,027 voters registered.
It said it is scrutinising the records of the staff, who would be from the National Youth
Service Corps and from tertiary institutions and federal ministries, department and agencies.
The Resident Electoral Commissioner for the state, Abduganiy Raji, while addressing stakeholders in Ado Ekiti, said no fewer than 664, 379 PVCs had been distributed making their owners eligible to vote in the polls.
The commission brought together political parties under the aegis of Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC); Joint National Association of People Living With Disabilities (JONADIP) and religious bodies and briefed them on its readiness for the elections.
“We are hiring the services of police and NDLEA to test whether the ad hoc staff to be used are having criminal records or are those that are used to hard drugs,” he said. “We can’t use criminals to conduct elections or drug abusers and be expecting good results.”
He warned the staff of the commission against compromise, saying anyone caught sabotaging INEC will not only be dismissed but jailed in line with the provisions of the Electoral Act and 1999 constitution.
Mr Raji added that only those working with the federal higher institutions and MDAs and are above grade level 10 would be eligible to apply as ad hoc staff.
He also allayed the fears in town that the PVCs were being cloned by politicians.
“Those doing that will end up being disappointed. Our database can’t be hacked by anybody, because our ICT network was customised in a way that would be hack-free,” Mr Raji said.
“Even our workers who are working in the ICT have limitations, there is a limit to which they can go. In clear terms, the cloned PVCs can’t work with our smart card readers.
“We heard people are selling their PVCs, this would not help anybody. But how can people be selling their future? Even if you are given a sum of N20,000, would that be enough to take you throughout four years? So, our people must stop selling their future.”
The IPAC Chairman in the State, Ilesanmi Omolayo, appealed to political parties to start mobilising the people on the need to collect their PVCs in readiness for the elections.