INEC will be holding another interactive session with stakeholders in Benin over the postponement of the Edo governorship election.
The Deputy Director of Publicity and Voter Education of INEC, Mr Nick Dazang, made the disclosure in Abuja on Wednesday during an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
Dazang said that the aim of the forum was to address concerns arising from the postponement of the election from Sept. 10 to Sept. 28 based on security advice.
“The session will also be used to address reactions and assuage the anxieties of stakeholders,’’ he said.
Dazang said that 1,925,105 registered voters were expected to participate in the election.
“Total number of registered voters remains the same as issued on August 11, 2016 (30 days to the election) as demanded by law.
“However, distribution of PVCs (Permanent Voter Cards) is on-going as directed by the commission in all states of the federation.
Asked if the commission was considering reshuffling personnel for the poll, Dazang said he was not aware of that.
He added that the commission was not aware of any of those recruited and trained for the poll changing interest on participating in the exercise.
“We do not have any report to that effect. What INEC is doing now is to re-engage with the stakeholders, particularly the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), security agencies and others.
“We appreciate that there could be such fear by the ad hoc staff. So, what we are doing is to re-engage with the stakeholders.
“We are re-engaging to reassure them based on the assurance given to us by security agencies that the same level of security that they assured us is still in place.
“We will try and allay their fairs and anxiety so that they will feel strengthened to participate; we are working on that.
“We are also sensitising all stakeholders and that is why we are holding another stakeholders forum in Benin to address whatever concern that they may raise,’’ Dazang said.
He said that for now INEC had no challenge on getting the required ad hoc staff for the conduct of the election.
Dazang said that one third of the ad hoc staff engaged were NYSC members, while the remaining two thirds were former corps members and students of tertiary institutions.
“Be that as it may, we are not taking things for granted, we are going to assure them of their security while on election duty.
“In fact since the postponement of the election, INEC offices have been under 24 hours surveillance and the same number of the security measures would be provided before the election proper.
“The security personnel are going to be present at the eve of the election with the ad hoc staff in the all the 192 Registration Area Centres.
“They are going to secure the ad hoc staff and our election materials,’’ he added.
Dazang said that the commission would continue to build on its engagement with stakeholders to ensure security and success of the election.
NAN recalls that INEC had trained 18,511 personnel for the poll, while the police mobilsed 25,000 before the postponement on Sept. 8, two days before the Sept. 10 scheduled date.