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Election Monitors Seek Lawyers, Doctors As Collation Officers



Election Monitors in the country have urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to engage professionals such as; lawyers, medical doctors, Nollywood actors, musicians and other federal government workers as Collation Officers in subsequent elections.

According to the Election Monitors, since those classes of professionals have reputations to protect, it would improve the transparency of the election.

Speaking at the Policy Dialogue Series tagged: “Dynamics of Delegation: Reforms in the Recruitment, Training and Deployment of Ah-hoc Election Personnel,” organised by the Electoral Institute in Abuja, the executive director, Election Monitors, Abiodun Ajijola, said the engagement of this category of people will also reduce money spent by INEC on result collation.

“If some Nigerians see musicians like: D-Banj, Wizkid, Davido and many other familiar faces as collation officers, they will be encouraged on the transparency of the process. The voters’ turnout will also be high, Ajijola said.

The director general, The Electoral Institute, Dr Sa’ad Umar Idris, who lauded the suggestion, said most of the professionals could do the work free, thereby, solving some parts of INEC’s logistics problem.

The DG, who said the 900,000 adhoc staff that worked in the 2019 general elections, should be utilised in subsequent elections, said they are investigating some of the challenges they had in the 2019 general elections as it affects training and development of the adhoc staff.

The lead paper presenter, who is also a senior lecturer with the Federal University Oye-Ekiti, Ekiti State, Prof Shola Omotola, said experienced adhoc staff should be retained in subsequent elections.

He said recruitment should include civil servants so that any infraction they made on election result, should be referred to their organisations for disciplinary action.

He said the broader challenge in recruiting adhoc staff is in the policy document, which leads to disenfranchisement and affects voters’ turnout.

He urged INEC to avoid late recruitment of adhoc staff, poor training and advised the commission to address welfare concerns and ensure quality of the adhoc staff.