By James Sowole
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Wednesday disclosed that no fewer than 17,000 staff would be engaged by the commission for the forthcoming October 10, 2020 governorship election in Ondo State.
The INEC National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee (IVEC), Mr Festus Okoye, disclosed this while declaring open a worship for journalists on ‘Election Processes and Procedures’ held in Akure, Ondo State.
Over 50 journalists from the print and electronic media and online media organisations participated in the workshop.
Okoye said of the figure, 15,000 are ad hoc staff made up of members of the National Youths Service Corps (NYSC) and students of federal tertiary institutions, supervising presiding officers and collation and returning officers.
According to the INEC commissioner, supervising presiding officers would be made up of staff of federal tertiary institutions in the state, while collation and returning officers would also comprise senior staff of federal tertiary institutions.
However, Okoye said the collation officers and returning officers would be drawn from federal tertiary institutions outside the state.
The commissioner said the commission was prepared to conduct the election in line with COVID-19 protocols.
Specifically, he said the commission would work with the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 and National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
He said INEC would provide basic personal protective equipment including mask, sanitisers, infrared thermometers and disinfectants at polling units for its staff.
Okoye disclosed that the commission would enforce strict provision of the COVID-19 protocols as it would not allow any voter, who failed to wear mask to go near the polling units.
The commissioner advised journalists to also observe the protocols while carrying out their assignments during the election.