By James Azania, Lokoja
A head of the November 16 governorship election in Kogi State, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is to train 16,139 ad-hoc workers.
It will create 3,508 polling units across the 21 local governments.
The National Commissioner/Chairman, Information and Education Committee, INEC headquarters, Mr. Festus Okoye, disclosed this yesterday during a programme titled: “INEC Campus Outreach Youths Votes Count,” held at the Federal College of Education, Okene, Kogi State.
The programme, sponsored by INEC, in collaboration with the European Union (EU) and the European Centre for Electoral Support (ECES), aims at sensitising youths on the importance of a violence-free election and the important roles they play in the country’s electoral system.
Okoye said non-sensitive materials for the poll were already on ground, adding that they would arrive the state two weeks before the exercise, in readiness for voting at the 2,548 polling units.
The INEC national commissioner advised youths to take the ‘bull by the horns,’noting that they should not allow their ‘tomorrow’ to be hijacked by those that do not factor them into the scheme of things.
He admonished them on the need to get more positively involved in the electoral system, rather than being used as thugs and ballot box snatchers, by those he described as mindless politicians.
Okoye said: “We are here because we recognise that the students (youths) of this institution have the capacity to deliver on the needs of the electoral process. This is why we are here, having in mind the governorship election in Kogi State.
“We have 2,548 polling units in the state, and we are also going to create 3,508 polling points. There are 1,646,350 total number of registered voters (in Kogi State), but not all registered voters collected permanent voter cards (PVCs).
“INEC is to train 16,139 ad-hoc officials (between October 24 and 26), including collation officers (COs), returning officers (ROs) and other categories of ad-hoc staff.
“I need to make it clear that we are going to provide the materials to be used for the election. All non-sensitive materials for the Kogi governership election are on ground and two weeks to the election, the sensitive materials will be on ground.
“We are going to train you for the election, and such training is not transferable to another. Our contract with you is that, go and conduct this election, and we are going to remunerate you. All that is now required is your utmost patriotism.
“If we have 61 per cent of voters in this country as youths, and they do not participate in the process, that is something else.
“There is no voting on Twitter or on Facebook, and you should, therefore, not leave your future in the hands of people who believe that the country is theirs as of a right. Two hundred and forty million people voted in the last edition of Big Brother Naija, which is more than the number that ever voted in all elections in Nigeria, and they paid to do so. Yet, you are paid N10,000.”