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Saturday, 9 March 2019

Election: INEC Sacks Ad Hoc Workers In Rivers



INEC ad hoc workers

The Independent National Electoral Commission in Rivers State has replaced some ad hoc workers, who nearly marred the presidential and National Assembly polls in some areas in the state.

Head, Voter Education and Publicity of INEC in the state, Edwin Enabor, who disclosed this to Saturday PUNCH in Port Harcourt on Thursday, said while some of the ad hoc employees were relieved of their jobs as a result of inefficiency; others affected were removed as a result of outright mischief.
 

Though Enabor did not give the number of those affected by the development, he said the figure was infinitesimal compared to the over 12,000 ad hoc staff working for the commission.

He maintained that only those that had undergone retraining and certified to be efficient would be retained by INEC for Saturday’s governorship and House of Assembly elections.

“Ad hoc staff is ready. We are retaining basically those who worked for the last elections but where we have problems is with those of them that we discovered were working against the purpose of the commission or were inefficient.

“Those who couldn’t understand the process properly will not participate in the governorship and State Houses of Assembly elections.

“Also, some workers that declined going back to the job, we have to fill those spaces and we replaced them from the pool of ad hoc staff we have trained. Remember, we trained them before the elections and we had more than the required number.

“So, now that we have dropped those ones, we are taking from that pool of those who could not feature in the last elections. Those dropped are not very many, where we have such complains or need, we have taken care of them. Those who showed bias and mischief, we have taken care of them.

“We don’t have an estimate because we are using more than 12,000 ad hoc staff and the figure is just very infinitesimal,” Enabor said, adding that the commission discovered that most of the reports received about faulty card reader machines were due to inefficient usage of the machines.

He added, “The set of ad hoc staff to participate in the elections on Saturday will undergo refresher training on Friday (a day before the elections) at the registration area centres.

“We had some few cases of smart card readers not working, which we later found out that most of them were either due to lack of understanding of the process of using the smart card reader or outright mischief.

“For one reason or the other, we discovered that some of them (sacked ad hoc workers) refused to use the smart card reader the way they were expected to use them. We discovered all of those ones and we have taken care of them and after the refresher, they (ad hoc staff) should be good to go because it is not new to them basically.”

On the preparedness of the commission for today’s elections, Enabor explained that non-sensitive materials had already been distributed to local government area offices.

“We are almost at 95 per cent in deployment. All the non-sensitive materials have been deployed to the local government area offices and they must have completed the sharing into the various registration areas by now.

“The Registration Area Centre will be activated tomorrow (Friday) after the training. Right now, all the non-sensitive materials have gone to the local government area offices, while the sensitive materials are being sorted out to be collected at the Central Bank of Nigeria,” he added.

Enabor explained that the commission had put in place an insurance policy to cater for INEC employees affected by electoral violence, adding that the Inter-Agency on Election Security Committee had noted flashpoints and would do its best to forestall the recurrence of violence in the state.

“You know, anybody can be a victim of election violence, but as much as possible, we pray it does not affect any of our staff. We have the Inter-Agency Committee on Election Security, which took note of all those areas where violence happened,” he said.

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