The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has shortlisted 7,661 ad hoc staff for the February polls in Edo State.
This is even as the proposed examination for certain categories of the ad hoc staff in the state appears to have caused anger and frustration among the affected ad hoc staff.
The State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Mike Igni, who disclosed this to journalists, also said the shortlisted ad hoc staff are expected to participate in oral and written examinations.
The REC who disclosed this on Wednesday at an interactive session with leaders of registered political parties in the state at the commission’s headquarters also assured that successful persons would be enlisted to complement 339 permanent staff of the commission, even though he did not disclose the time for the interview.
He further said the commission has made appreciable progress in training and retraining of personnel who will conduct the elections.
According to him, “We are going to conduct examinations for INEC ad hoc staff. The kind of graduates we have now, most of them cannot define what they read in schools they graduated from’’.
He gave a detailed account of the benefits of the newly introduced Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) reading device in the 2015 polls, describing it as “the game changer’’ that will eliminate rigging and fake PVCs during elections.
He explained that the commission will not tolerate dereliction of duty by INEC staff, saying this is capable of undermining the peaceful conduct of the elections.
“The electoral process must not be used to divide the people…We must do justice in all our actions’’, he said, as he cautioned leaders of the registered political parties to submit to the commission, the names of reasonable and responsible persons as agents and to do so within the time frame.
“Political parties should not submit names of illiterate people as their party agents. We are not looking for bouncers as party agents. In fact, don’t bring names of agents who cannot read and write’’, he said.