INEC engages 17,000 ad-hoc staff for Ondo election

• No voting without nose mask

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), on Wednesday, said no fewer than 17000 ad-hoc staff would be deployed for the conduct of the October 10 governorship election in Ondo state

Disclosing this during a workshop organised for journalists in the state, the National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Mr Festus Okoye, said about 15,000 of the ad-hoc workers would be corps members and undergraduates of federal higher institutions in the country.

He disclosed that INEC would also recruit some head of tertiary institutions as collation and presiding officers, saying that the staffs of the commission would not be part of the exercise.

Okoye said: ” The INEC will provide moral and policy guides for the election. We will deploy 17,000 ad-hoc staff, 15,000 of them will be corps members and students of higher institutions.

“No INEC staff will be engaged. But staff of parastatals, agencies and commissions would be engaged as returning officers.

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“No collation officer will come from the federal tertiary institutions in Ondo State. It is Nigerians that will conduct this election. The pandemic has not stopped the commission from doing our work.”

The INEC Commissioner advised prospective voters in the state to strictly observe the established regulations on conducting elections within the context of the COVID-19 pandemic

He said no electorate would be allowed to perform its civic responsibilities on election day without wearing a facemask and restated that the use of branded nose masks would not be allowed during the election.

According to him, the requirement is part of measures to avoid the spread of Covid 19 disease during and after the governorship election in the state.

He said adequate preparation had been put in place to conduct credible elections in Edo and Ondo state, in line with the COVID-19 protocols, and maintained that the commission would not postpone the elections for any reason.

Okoye said the commission has collaborated with the National Center for Disease Control (NCDC) for the provision of infrared thermometer at the polling units, saying social distancing would be strictly adhered to during the election.

He said the commission had put in place a proper mechanism for the election and had collaborated with and said “Voter without facemask would not be allowed to vote on the election.

“We urged the voters to cooperate with our officials and the security agents at the polling centres.”

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