The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) said on Tuesday that more than 16,000 ad-hoc staff would be trained for the November 16 governorship election in Kogi State.
The Commission also said 3,508 polling units would be created across the 21 local government areas in the state.
The National Commissioner/Chairman, Information and Education Committee, INEC headquarters, Mr. Festus Okoye, disclosed this during a programme titled: “INEC Campus Outreach Youths Votes Count,” held at the Federal College of Education, Okene, Kogi State.
The programme, sponsored by INEC, in collaboration with the European Union (EU) and the European Centre for Electoral Support (ECES), is aimed at sensitising youths on the importance of a violence-free election and the important roles they play in the country’s electoral system.
According to Okoye, non-sensitive materials for the poll were already on the ground. He said they would arrive at the state two weeks before the election.
He also advised the youths to jettison being used as instruments of violence by politicians during the poll.
Okoye said: “We are here because we recognise that the students (youths) of this institution have the capacities to deliver on the needs of the electoral process. This is why we are here, having in mind the governorship election in Kogi State.
“We have 2,548 polling units in the state, and we are also going to create 3,508 polling points. There are 1,646,350 total number of registered voters (in Kogi State), but not all registered voters collected the Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs).
“INEC is to train 16,139 ad-hoc officials (between October 24 and 26), including collation officers (COs), returning officers (ROs) and other categories of ad-hoc staff.
“I need to make it clear that we are going to provide the materials to be used for the election. All non-sensitive materials for the Kogi governorship election are on the ground and two weeks to the election, the sensitive materials will be on ground.
“We are going to train you for the election, and such training is not transferable to another. Our contract with you is that go and conduct this election, and we are going to remunerate you. All that is now required is your utmost patriotism.
“If we have 61 per cent of voters in this country as youths, and they do not participate in the process, that is something else.
“There is no voting on Twitter or on Facebook, and you should, therefore, not leave your future in the hands of people who believe that the country is theirs as of a right. 240 million people voted in the last edition of Big Brother Naija, which is more than the number that ever voted in all elections in Nigeria, and they paid to do so. Yet, you are paid N10,000.”
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