Election Duty: Electoral commission assures corps members of security

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has assured that it will continue to place premium on the security of corps members on election duty, as Nigeria prepares for another poll to elect new leadership.

Penpushing reports that Chairman of the Commission, Mahmood Yakubu, gave the assurance when he led management staff of the commission to pay a courtesy visit on the Acting Director-General of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Christy Uba.

The commission boss disclosed that the agency has extended insurance cover to corps members on duty in case of injury or other emergencies to all corps members involved in election duty, describing their role as the most critical in the election process.

Penpushing further reports that Yakubu pointed out that, the corps members operate at the most important level of election, which is the polling unit, the only level where citizens actually vote, hence need for the commission to be cautious of their safety.

“So, for that reason, we will also extend insurance cover in case of injury or other emergencies to all corps members involved in election duty. Working with the security agencies, we will also extend protection and security to the youth corps members’ lodges when they are deployed to the field on election days’, he stated.

“This is because we have had some unhappy experiences before, when some hoodlums raided the corps members’ lodges in some places, while they were on election duty.So, we will continue to take whatever step that is necessary to protect and guarantee the security and welfare of the corps members’, Yakubu emphasied.

Penpushing also reports that the chairman said the commission would continually operate within the framework of the existing Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the commission and the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC).

The Chairman in the same vein, assured that there would be training and retraining of the ad hoc staff, majority of who are youth corps members, in the handling of election technology, stating that they would be responsible for the management of the polling units among other functions

“They will be responsible for the management of the polling units, management of elections resources including sensitive materials, accreditation of voters, using the Bimodal Voter Registration System (BVRS) on election days’, he said

Penpushing reports that Yakubu, explained that  the corps members are more involved immediately the voting processes are over, noting that they would record the results on the result sheets, and when all party agents have signed they would be responsible for the snapping the result at that level, using the BVRS, and transmitting same in real time.’

“They record the results on the result sheets. When all the party agents have signed, then, they will be responsible for snapping the result at that level, using the BVRS, and transmitting same in real time’, he stated

The chairman boasted that the commission was fully ready for the forthcoming general elections, adding that it would ensure that all materials and staff got to their respective places of assignment on time, and that the polling units, too, would open promptly.

Penpushing further reports that, the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) boss in her response expressed the corps continued readiness to partner with the commission, adding that a lot had been achieved over time.

The Acting Director General speaking regarding the forthcoming election,  said the corps members are eager, as the youth are very interested in it, and will make sure that they work hard to make things right, adding that  the scheme and the commission were expected to play their roles.

‘On the preparation for the 2023 general elections, we have directed state coordinators to encourage corps members to register on the INEC portal, and I believe they have done that. Corps’ Welfare and Service Department is expected to visit states to assure corps members and staff of the commitment of INEC and NYSC, of their safety while on election duties. This is to further encourage them, given the situation we have found ourselves. They need to be assured that their security is being taken care of’, she said’

Penpushing also reports that Uba disclosed that state coordinators had been directed to combine names and phone numbers of key security personnel in the states and local government areas for dissemination to corps members who wish to participate in the exercise.

The National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) boss  said that all state coordinators had also been directed to liaise with all State Security Services (SSS) and other security agencies to identify crisis-prone areas in the state.

Penpushing reports that she said  such volatile areas will be forwarded to the National Youth Service Corps(NYSC) headquarters for monitoring, stressing that in view of the number of corps members that would be required by electoral body, the scheme had concluded plans to hold the 2023 Batch A Stream One course in January.

The Acting Director General explained that this, would add to the number of corps members, who would be available to participate in the process, adding that there was need to work on the present reality, and need to review the allowances paid to the corps members.

‘We need to work in our present reality, there is the need to review the allowances paid to the corps members. The chairman should please look at the conditions and ensure some level of improvement as contained in the MoU’, Uba said

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