The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Friday, disclosed move to recruit over 1.4 million adhoc staff in preparation ahead of the 2023 general elections.
This was made known by the Chairman, INEC, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, in a keynote address delivered at the launch of Yiaga Africa Election Result Analysis Dashboard (ERAD) Report on Electronic Transmission of Results in the 2022 Ekiti and Osun Governorship Election in Abuja.
Mahmood said number of adhoc staff to be deployed by INEC for the 2023 general election is above number of personnel of both the military and police, which indicates the magnitude of the election exercise.
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He said: “How many adhoc staff are we going to employ at polling unit level for the 2023 general elections? Is over 700,000, so that 1.4 million adhoc staff and polling unit level for the 2023 general elections; the national and state elections that is excluding our regular staff and other categories of other adhoc staff as collation and returning officers.
“The number of adhoc staff to be deployed by INEC for the 2023 general election is more than the combined strength of the police and armed forces in Nigeria.
“This gives you an idea of the size of what we are dealing with when it comes to election management in the country.
“Also, hands on training may be required to ensure that all those involved throughout the value chain of the IReV are fully ready for what is bound to be a major outting during the 2023 general election is actually going to be a major test for us and for the nation and we are bracing for that.”
He also maintained that the commission has increased transparency and confidence of Nigerians in the election result management process in Nigeria.
Meanwhile, the INEC chief declared that, “I can confidently say that the days of wanton manipulation of election results are clearly over.
“Yet, we are not resting on our hoarse knowing that we must remain several steps ahead of those who seek to undermine the system and there are many bad guys in the field trying to undermine the system, but we stand for electoral justice.
“We will make sure that the votes cast by Nigerians are protected and the only determinant of who becomes what in our democracy.
“The importance of IReV to transparency and result management is obvious.
Assures Nigerians seamless access to portal, “We expect that with the popularity of the IReV, and the spinoffs, like the ERAD, many more users would seek to access the portal during the general election.
“We are working to ensure that users enjoy a seamless experience with IReV as possible.
“And we are also aware of the sheer size of our country. I have said this consistently that if you take the other 14 countries out of 15 in West Africa, the number of registered voters in the other 14 countries is 73 million.
“As of 2019, the number of registered voters in Nigeria was 84 million meaning that we have 11 million more voters than the whole of West Africa combined.
“So each time an election is conducted in Nigeria is like you are conducting election for the whole of West Africa. That is the size of the country.”