Bayelsa guber poll: Why we’re using only permanent staff as Supervisory Presiding Officers – INEC

Bayelsa guber poll: Why we’re using only permanent staff as Supervisory Presiding Officers – INEC

The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, in Bayelsa State has said that it decided to use only permanent staff of the Commission as Supervisory Presiding Officers in Saturday’s governorship election in the state to protect the sanctity of the process.

However, it is understood that about 26,000 security personnel have been deployed to the state for the elections and have been posted to the various local government and polling units.

Speaking with journalists in his office, the State Resident Electoral Commissioner, Obo Effanga, also asked youths if the state and other residents not to allow themselves to be used to disrupt the election.

Effanga explained that while INEC in the state will rely on National Youth Service Corps members to act as Presiding Officers, it chose to use its staff to help supervise the election because they will be more mindful of securing the process.

He said in the past, both staff of the Commission and non-staff were engaged as supervisory presiding officers, adding, “This time, we noticed that a lot of them from neighbouring states applied. So, we paid more attention to them being staff of the Commission.

“They will be mindful of the return and security of INEC materials. They are also conscious of the implication of having a credible election. So, we trust that they will be more professional in handling their assignment.”

Effanga appealed to the people of the state to allow a free and fair process leading to the emergence of the next governor, while discouraging acts of violence that might undermine the process.

He said, “I want to appeal to the people of the state to shun acts of violence. For the youths, they should not allow politicians use them to disrupt the process of the election.”

Effanga urged the candidates to abide by the peace agreement they signed ahead of the poll, saying Nigerians and indeed the people of Bayelsa will hold them accountable for the promise they made to allow peace before, during and after the election.

While asking political actors in the state to call their supporters to order, he said it is evident to all that every violent disruption of the election process is sponsored by someone.

Effanga disclosed that about 1,017,613 voters who collected their permanent voters card will participate in Saturday’s election.

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