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INEC to deploy over 1million officer for Presidential, Guber polls

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-Begins movement of sensitive, non-sensitive materials

-Security beefs up at commission’s offices nationwide

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Monday said not less than 1,265,227 officers are to be deployed for the conduct of the Presidential and Governorship elections.

The commission further stated that all these categories of staff are currently undergoing training for the elections.

It also hinted that all the sensitive and non-sensitive materials required for the conduct of the General Election are being moved to their specific location.

It added that security is being beefed up in the State and Local Government Offices of the Commission.

This was disclosed by INEC National Commissioner, information and voter education and publicity on strategic communications, Festus Okoye at the voter education and publicity training for Heads of Department and Public Affairs Officers on strategic communication in Lagos.

The training was done in conjunction with the Center for Democracy and Development (CDD)

The Presidential and National Assembly election is scheduled to hold on the 25th day of February while the gubernatorial and State Assembly will take place on the 11th of March 2023.

According to Okoye, “The election will take place in the 176, 846 Polling Units of the Commission and the first level of collation will take place in the 8,809 Registration Areas (Electoral Wards).

“The 2023 General Election will be technology driven. To this end, the Commission will deploy the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) to the 176,846 Polling Units across the Federation. The Commission will also deploy redundancies to the 8,809 Registration Areas and the 774 Local Government Areas of Nigeria. The Commission has tested the full complement of the BVAS that will be used for the election and they are presently being configured in readiness for the election.

“Following improvements made to the hardware and software components of the BVAS, the Commission approved and carried out Mock Accreditation and Polling Unit Result Upload nationwide. This took place on the 4th of February 2023 in all 36 States of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

“Specifically, it took place in 218 Local Government Areas and 436 Polling Units. The Chairman of the Commission who supervised the entire process expressed satisfaction with the optimal performance of the BVAS in all the States of the Federation.

“The use of the BVAS for voter verification and authentication is a mandatory provision of section 47(2) of the Electoral Act and every registered voter must undergo the process of accreditation. The Commission will also upload Polling Unit level results (Form EC8A) and the accreditation data to the INEC Result Viewing Portal. This is also a mandatory provision of sections 50, 60, and 64 of the Electoral Act 2022.

“For the 2023 General Election, the Commission will recruit 707, 384 Presiding Officers and Assistant Presiding Officers, about 17, 685 Supervisory Presiding Officers, 9,620 Collation/Returning Officers, as well as 530,538 Polling Unit Security Officials, making a total of 1,265,227. All these categories of staff are undergoing training and the training of others will commence in a few days.

“The Commission is engaging all institutions and critical national institutions supervising critical national assets. The Commission has revised and signed MOU with the National Union of Road Transport Workers and the Marine Workers Union of Nigeria. The Commission needs and will hire at least 100,000 buses and 4,000 boats for the election and the drivers and workers to be engaged must also subscribe to the Oath of Neutrality that will be administered by the Commission.

“All the sensitive and non-sensitive materials required for the conduct of the 2023 General Election are being moved to the location. Security is being beefed up in the State and Local Government Offices of the Commission and all the materials required for the election will be in place at least a week before the election.”

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