The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said it would procure dummy smart card readers to train prospective ad hoc staff that will take part in the 2023 elections in Kwara.
The Kwara state Resident Electoral Commission (REC), Malam Garba Madami, said this Monday in Ilorin at a ceremony to mark the first year anniversary of his resumption as REC in Kwara.
He said INEC in Kwara would not wait until election time before it began its preparation.
Madami said ahead of 2023, INEC would be busy with various programmes such as voter education, training, mobilisation, registration of voters and stakeholders’ meetings.
“We are not going to wait till 2022 before we start preparation for the 2023 general elections. We are going to be busy from now in Kwara with series of programmes in preparation for the elections.
“As from 2022, we will commence the training of corps members that would serve as ad hoc staff on the smart card readers using the dummies that I will procure and even on how to fix faulty ones.
“The training we are giving corps members are not enough, we will have about eight training programmes for all our prospective ad hoc staff,” the REC said.
Also, Madami said there would be training and retraining of staff to build their capacity in preparation for the elections.
He said the commission would hold series of sensitisation and consultative meetings with all stakeholders like traditional rulers, women societies, civil society organisations, NGOs, PWDs, politicians and students.
The consultative meetings, the REC said, would be spread over time to fully engage all INEC staff in the state.
Madami expressed worry over the low participation of women in elective positions during the last elections in Kwara.
He promised to embark on awareness campaign and sensitisation of women to ensure more active participation in politics.
Madami said he would also take voter education to schools by organising debates and quiz competitions.
This, the REC added, would create awareness among the students and keep them abreast of their rights as voters.
Madami, who expressed satisfaction with the outcome of the 2019 elections in Kwara, also commended all stakeholders for its success.
He expressed the hope that the number of registered voters in the state would have reached two million by 2023 as against the present 1.4 million because of the sensitisation initiatives.