From Umar Dankano, Yola
The Adamawa State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Barr.Kassim Gana Gaidam, has disclosed that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) needs about 20,000 personnel, including ad-hocstaff, security personnel and the permanent staff to conduct the oncoming October 11 bye election in the state.
Gaidam made the disclosure yesterday in Yola shortly after a stakeholders meeting convened at the conference hall of the Commision. He explained that majority of the personnel that will partake in the exercise will be drawn from the tertiary institutions in the state as well as members of the NYSC as he said the INEC has only 300 staff strength which is inadequate for the exercise.
The Resident Electoral Commissioner enjoined all stakeholders, especially Journalists, to sensitize the public to ensure mass participation during the polls adding that one of the major issues bedeviling election is low voter turnout in previous elections.
He also charged the media to avoid sensational and biased reportage saying that in the event of any breach of law, the people, especially the common men, will always be at the receiving end.
Gaidam added that the Commission has taken drastic measures to curtail conflicts emanating from factions within political parties in the conduct of party primaries saying that with the decision, every political party that wanted to conduct primaries will direct its request to the INEC national headquarters which will in turn inform the state office about the venue after due diligence was observed.
He also submitted that the large presence of security operatives during Ekiti and Osun governorship elections was justifiable as the elections in the two states were conducted without security breach saying that with the emergency rule in the state, he envisaged tight security to prevent any eventuality during the coming election.
He however informed that the commencement of the distribution of permanent voter card will commence before the conduct of the election as against the previous arrangement where Adamawa State is considered in the third phase of the exercise.