The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has revealed that it will blacklist the National Youths Service Corps (NYSC) members and some university lecturers who did not perform creditably during the last general elections, even as the body prepares for Kogi and Bayelsa governorship elections.
Speaking with newsmen Tuesday at a stakeholders’ round table on the preparedness towards Kogi and Bayelsa state governorship elections, organised by the Center for Transparency Advocacy (CTA), the commission’s National Commissioner Supervising Bayelsa, Edo, Rivers state, Mrs May Agbamuche-Mbu, who represented the INEC chairman, revealed that the commission will also look at the issue of card readers.
“What we intend to do with the card reader is to look at them carefully again and see what we can do regarding it. With the adhoc staff, we are using adhoc staff from the NYSC and the university but we intend to blacklist those who have not done very well in the last election. That’s what we intend to do.”
Accordingly, she said the commission will engage the security agencies in series of consultative meetings before the 16th of November, 2019 governorship election in the states to ensure a hitch free and violence free election.
“We will share our own threat assessment with the security agencies using our Electoral Violence Mitigation Tool (EVMAT). We shall map out elaborate plans for the deployment of security agencies, including the assignment of adequate personnel for the protection of our polling units, registration area, local government and state collation centers.”
The commission also said it has made adequate provisions for the transportation of the ad-hoc staff to be deployed for the elections and materials (both by land and sea) would be retained from Friday to Sunday, adding that feeding and the payment of all allowances would be done accordingly.
On security deployment, she said the commission will ensure the deployment of security personnel with the same template used for the 2019 general elections.
The roundtable brought together the INEC officials, security agents, CSOs, representatives of People Living with Disabilities and forum of women voters and other stakeholders directly involve in the conduct of election.
Speaking earlier, executive director of Center for Transparency Advocacy (CTA) Faith Nwadishi, called on the All Progressives Congress (APC), the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and other opposition political parties to conduct credible primary elections ahead of Kogi and Bayelsa state governorship elections, so as to address issue of internal democracy in electing their flag bearers.
Nwadishi also urged women to utilise the opportunity to get nomination forms from their political parties.
“We hope that the political parties will use this opportunity to address issues of internal political party democracy in electing their flag bearers. This is interesting as this will usher in robust issue-based campaigns and of course, we expect transparent primaries to avoid the acrimonious primaries 2019 general elections leading to several litigations in the courts.
“Citizens and voters of these two states should avoid vote trading and in good conscience and vote candidates of their choice.
“It is also our hope that as critical stakeholders, we shall pledge and ensure that we play our roles transparently and honestly. In the same manner, we want to believe that INEC and the security agencies will provide the enabling environment for a credible election while politicians and political parties are expected to play by the rules.”