The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has initiated a review of its front line officials, the Electoral Officers (EOs), and transporters who facilitated logistics during the 2023 general elections.
This move was announced by INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, during a post-election meeting with Electoral Officers at the Ladi Kwali Hall of the Abuja Continental Hotel on Wednesday.
The review process was initiated following the previous meeting with Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) two weeks ago, during which the Commission had announced the commencement of the review of the 2023 General Election.
According to him, “this was followed a week later by State level review meetings nationwide involving our regular staff and ad hoc officials.
“Today, we commence a more focused engagement at national level with the Commission’s front line officials, the Electoral Officers (EOs).
“We also considered it appropriate to interface with transport providers to review logistic arrangements by inviting the leadership of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), the National Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO) and the Maritime Workers’ Union of Nigeria (MWUN)”.
Yakubu noted that the success of any election primarily depends on the ability to deploy personnel and materials to various locations. He said that in Nigeria, “this involves the biggest logistic deployment the nation periodically undertakes across vast terrains and often difficult topography”.
The INEC chairman disclosed that this has been a perennial challenge over time but it is now compounded by issues of infrastructure and insecurity.
He stated that however, the Commission has to deploy personnel and materials not only for Election Day activities but electoral activities in general covering the period before, during and after the elections. He added that many of these activities such as the Continuous Registration of Voters (CVR), monitoring of party primaries for the nomination of candidates for the election and the procurement and deployment of sensitive and non-sensitive materials must be accomplished ahead of the election otherwise critical Election Day processes will be impossible.
Yakubu said that the Wednesday meeting, therefore, provided an opportunity to interact on a wide range of themes that covering of which ten critical areas are highlighted for discussion:
i. General State of Preparedness for the 2023 General Election;
ii. Voters Registration Process and the associated issues of Adequacy of Timing, Display of Voter Register for Claims and Objections, Clean-up of Voter Register, PVC Collection etc.;
iii. Recruitment, training, deployment and remuneration of ad hoc staff, including specific issues of mode of recruitment, conduct of training, timing, adequacy, effectiveness and utility of e-learning training platforms, and strategy for efficient payment of ad hoc staff.
iv. Matters arising from the implementation of the expansion of voter access to Polling Units;
v. Receipt and deployment of election materials;