Seriki Adinoyi in Jos
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) yesterday commenced a three-day training of Presiding and Assistant Presiding Officers (APO) shortlisted for the August 3 Pengana (Bassa 1) state constituency by-election.
A statement by issued by INEC Voters Education Officer, Mr. Osaretin Imahiyereobo, noted that the officials involved in the training included the APOs 1 at the media centre and state office, while others had been trained at the Township Primary School in Tafawa Balewa, Jos North and ECWA Primary School in Bassa.
He said the state Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Mallam Hussaini Halilu Pai, had urged the participants during the commencement of the training to pay attention to the programme 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, who represented the REC 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 elections.”
The statement added: “The REC said INEC expects all of them to be above board in terms of personal conduct and the assignments given to you.”
Imahiyereobo said only those with competencies in the use of the Smart Card Readers would be deplored in the field.
He said the Head of ICT department in the state, 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).
Imahiyereobo in statement said a total of 617 POs and APOs are undergoing the training, adding that the bye election was necessitated by the death of the winner of the election shortly after the result was declared.
The candidate for the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr. Ezekiel Afon, had just been declared winner of the election for the Pengana state constituency in Bassa Local Government Area when he slumped and died.