Prof. Mahmud Yakub, the present Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) told the Senate Committee on INEC during a meeting yesterday that the commission would recruit about one million ad hoc members of staff for the conduct of the 2019 general elections.
According to Yakub, the ad hoc workers to be deployed for the polls, which will begin in 484 days, will be about 300,000 higher than the 700,000 used for the 2015 general elections. Hmm, but the sole of fair election is not by the numbers.
He said, “The projected increase in the number of ad hoc (members of ) staff to be engaged in the elections by the commission arose from the need to make provisions for adequate manpower for the exercise on a general template and, specifically, to take care of peculiar needs for that purpose in some polling units across the federation.”
The INEC chairman, at the interactive session with the lawmakers, also revealed that the commission was planning to make the five categories of disfranchised Nigerians participate in the 2019 general elections. The five categories listed according to him, are
- 16,000 INEC personnel,
- Members of the civil society organizations who serve as election monitors and observers,
- The media,
- Security personnel and prison inmates.
Yakub assured Nigerians that the smart card readers that will be used for the polls would function efficiently as users would be adequately trained on its usage before the election unlike the case in the 2015 election.