The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Anambra on Wednesday said it would post stand-by ad-hoc staff to the conflict areas of the state for Saturday’s House of Assembly elections.
The state Resident Electoral Commissioner, Dr. Nkwachukwu Orji, dropped the hint at the CBN Awka office during the distribution of sensitive materials ahead of the poll.
Nkwachukwu was reacting to the statement by the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) in the state that corps members would not be posted for election duty in Idemili and Ogbaru areas of the state.
The state NYSC coordinator, Kehinde Aremu, had said that the decision to withdraw corps members from those areas was based on the directives from the headquarters barring them from volatile areas.
But the REC said the decision would not pose any challenge to the exercise, noting that the electoral umpire have more than enough trained staff to replace the corps members with.
He revealed that the commission had invited a total of 9,000 persons for the training, but said over 18,000 reported and were eventually trained for the exercise.
He said, “I received a letter from the NYSC saying it won’t deploy corps members to conflict prone areas. But it’s not a source of worry to us.
“We have lots of people in our data base standing by for engagement. Some even come to the polling unit uninvited, waiting for opportunities to work.”
Orji also debunked allegation that some of the ad-hoc staff involved in the last election did not undergo training, resulting to their inability to effectively manipulate the smart card readers.
He said it would be an act of irresponsibility on the part of the commission to engage untrained hands for such sensitive assignments.
“I don’t believe we can hire people, train them and dump them to use those we didn’t train. We’re not that irresponsible,” he added.