By Seriki Adinoyi in Jos
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Monday commenced a three-day training of presiding and assistant presiding officers (APO) it shortlisted for the August 3, 2019 Pengana (Bassa 1) State Constituency by-election.
A statement by Mr Osaretin Imahiyereobo, INEC Voters Education Officer, noted that the officials involved in the training included the APOs 1 at the Media Centre, state office, while others had been trained at the Township Primary School, Tafawa Balewa, Jos North and ECWA Primary School, Bassa.
He said the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Mallam Hussaini Halilu Pai, has urged the participants to be attentive at the commencement of the training because much was expected of them by both the Commission and the public.
According to Imahiyereobo, the Administrative Secretary of the Commission, Gbadamosi Abiodun Rasheed, represented the REC where he observed that the election was the first after the 2019 general election, and that “all eyes will be on INEC to see how far it can conduct a free, fair, credible and transparent election”.
“The REC said that INEC expects all of them to be above board in terms of personal conduct and the assignments given to you,” the statement added.
According to him, only those with competencies in the use of the Smart Card Readers will be deplored in the field.
He said the Head of ICT department in the state, Mr Wakil For, also advised participants to focus on the training, as knowledge will be tested on the operations and maintenance of the Smart Card Reader (SCR).
He said a total of 617 POs and APOs are undergoing the training.
The by-election was necessitated by the death of the winner of the election shortly after the result was declared.
Mr Ezekiel Afon, the candidate for the All Progressives Congress (APC) had just been declared winner of the election for the Pengana State Constituency in Bassa Local Government Area when he slumped and died.