INEC To Deploy 400,000 Corps Members For Polls

The Independent National Electoral Commission will hire about 40 per
cent of its ad hoc workers for the February 16 and March 2 elections
from members of the National Youth Service Corps, the National
Commissioner and Chairman of its Information and Voter Education
Committee, Festus Okoye, has stated.

Between 300,000 and 400,000
corps members would be needed for the two elections out of 800,000 to
one million workers to be deployed in different polling booths during
the exercise.

According to the INEC commissioner, the expectation
is that the corps members will serve as presiding officers in about
120,000 polling units and the estimated 30,000 voting points and
settlements.

He also stated that should there be any shortfall, the commission would make use of students from federal tertiary institutions.

Okoye
spoke in Abuja where he shed light on the number of ad hoc employees to
be deployed for the February and March polls including the additional
30,000 voting points that might be created by INEC.

He said,
“There are 119,809 polling units in Nigeria and maybe additional 30,000
voting points will be created. Each polling unit and voting point will
have not less than four ad hoc staff. We have a total of 8,809
registration areas and each of them must have collation officers.

“All
the local governments and area councils must have collation officers.
INEC will conduct elections in 1,558 constituencies and it requires
between 750,000 and one million ad hoc workers. The commission can only
harvest around 40 per cent of its ad hoc staff need from the corps
members.”

Okoye explained that each of the polling units would be manned by a presiding officer and three assistant presiding officers.

The
national commissioner added, “Where voting points are created, there
will be at each voting point an APO (VP) and three APOs appointed by the
commission under the supervision of the presiding officer. The
presiding officer shall delegate the responsibility of accreditation,
preparing and issuing of ballot papers to the assistant presiding
officer (VP) in-charge of a voting point.

“The commission will
also deploy collation officers in all the registration areas/wards
throughout the federation as well as supervisory presiding officers to
all the registration areas/wards. The commission will deploy
registration area technical support staff in all the registration
areas/wards.

“The commission will also deploy collation officers
in all the local governments in the federation and appoint returning
officers for all the strands of election that will be conducted.”

According to Okoye, INEC does not create voting points based on geography.

He
said, “The voting points are created based on multiples of 500 and a
maximum of 750 registered voters or as may otherwise be determined by
the commission. The determining factor in the creation of voting points
is the number of registered voters in a particular polling unit and the
need to make it easier for all registered voters to cast their votes
expeditiously.
“Voting points are not stand-alone polling units.
Voting points are appendages of the existing and main polling units. The
APO (VP) in charge of a voting point reports directly to the presiding
officer and hands over the votes harvested from the voting point to the
presiding officer after counting and recording in the appropriate forms.