The chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu has declared that the Commission needs about 1.2 million personnel, including security agencies, as well as ad’hoc staff to conduct the 2019 general elections.
Yakubu who spoke through the chairman, Board of the Electoral Institute (BEI), Solomon Adedeji Soyebi, during the Election Security Personnel Training of Trainers for the 2019 general elections held in Kano, said over 360,000 to 450,000 security personnel are needed to man the polling units across the country during the elections.
The training was organized by INEC in collaboration with European Centre for Electoral Support (ECES) and the European Union (EU).
He also added that INEC requires about 500,000 security personnel to ensure peaceful and rancour-free elections in 2019.
Prof. Yakubu further revealed that Nigeria is the second largest democracy in the world with 84 million registered voters, after the United States of America (USA), adding that in Africa, Nigeria remains the largest.
He appealed to security agencies to ensure that they provide conducive atmosphere for credible elections, urging them, “not to leave any stone unturned while performing their duties. Election is supposed to be a civil exercise, so you have to conduct yourself in such a manner that the electorate will not be scared of you.”
According to him, “this training on election security is, therefore, very important as it will serve to equip the security personnel with knowledge of our electoral process, electoral environment, electoral laws and guidelines and the risk elements inherent or associated with them.
“Therefore, I implore participants to take the training seriously as it will deepen your standard Electoral Operation Guidelines and create a harmonise relationship amongst security agencies on election duty,” Yakubu said.
In his remarks at the event, ECES Project Director, Rudolf Elbling who was represented by the ECES Senior Media and Communications Advisor, Paul Anderson, noted that conducting hitch-free and credible elections require a peaceful environment devoid of threats to lives and properties.
According to him, “Election officials can only discharge their responsibilities of organizing elections including deployment and retrieval of materials in a secured environment. Voters also require a peaceful environment to be able to come out and vote during elections without fear of intimidation and harassment.”
He added that for the 2019 general election to be successful, “security agencies have critical roles to play in securing the electoral process, a role that has become more challenging in view of reported cases of security breaches in certain parts of the country. The issue of security is indeed very complex in a vast country like Nigeria where election personnel and materials have to be deployed across land expanse and some difficult terrain.”
JAMB reveals how 2019 UTME will be conducted
Ahead of Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME), Prof. Ishaq Oloyede, Registrar, Joint Admission and Matriculations Board (JAMB), said the board has introduced new innovations for successful conduct of 2019 UTME.
NAN reports that Oloyede made this known in Abuja on Monday at the meeting of critical stakeholders on strategic planning and preparations for supervision and evaluation of administration of 2019 UTME slated to hold between April 11 and April 15.
He said a robust item backed with appropriate safeguard had been developed by moving toward open examination with one million questions per subject which would soon be effected.
“A separate indicator had also been created for the deaf (mute) to differentiate them for special attention at the examination centre. Efforts are on to provide option of special centres or mainstreaming for the blind.
“We now have live report on centres that registered any candidate, the time the candidate was registered, who registered the candidate, computer system used, the location of registration.
“All these are done through our enhanced monitoring system. I want to warn candidates expected to sit for its examination to ensure their biometrics were taken and verified or risk sitting for the examination,’’ he said.
He called on candidates to comply with the rules of engagement governing the registration and examination of the UTME.
According to him, biometric verification will be the only mode for admittance of candidates into the examination centres.
He added that increasing threat of identity fraud during the UTME before the advent of BVM necessitated its introduction for capturing the biometrics of candidates to counter fraud.
“Any candidate that cannot be verified by the Biometric Verification Mode (BVM) must not be allowed to take the examination under any guise.
“All candidates whose fingerprints could not be captured during registration from centres across the country were brought to JAMB Headquarters and were registered appropriately.
“In other words, exemption mode is not allowed for any candidate. Therefore, no biometric verification, no examination,” Oloyede warned.
The registrar added that the use of email/password would not be allowed by cyber cafe operators as it had now been classified as an offence for cyber cafe to ask for password before rendering services.
Oloyede said the board held an international round-table on cheating devices in December 2017 where various technology devices used for examination further said that Automated Teller Machine (ATM) was added to the list of prohibited items during its examinations.
He said other items prohibited are wristwatches, recorders, earpieces, mobile phones, Bluetooth devices, smart lenses, erasers, smart buttons and spy reading glasses, among others.
The registrar said the board had approved the use of 708 Computer Based Test (CBT) centres across the country for the conduct of the examination.
He noted that the names of impersonators in the last 10 years would soon be published to serve as deterrent to others, adding added that about 1.99 million candidates had registered for the examination.
He called on the candidates to ensure they comply with the rules and regulations of the examinations
Govt shut down three institutions with reasons
The Governor of Osun State, Adegboyega Oyetola, has ordered the closure of three tertiary institutions in the state following a protest which turned violent in Ilesa.
Oyetola condemning the incident said the closure was with immediate effect.
The state government announced this in a statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Adeniyi Adesina.
The statement reads: “Following the unwarranted destruction of public property by irate members of the public in Ilesa, Osun State Governor Adegboyega Oyetola on Monday night ordered the closure of three higher institutions of learning.
“The affected schools are Osun State College of Education, Ilesa, Osun State College of Health Technology, Ilesa, and Osun State College of Technology, Esa Oke.
“The closure is with immediate effect, the government would not hesitate to take further drastic action, should the need arises in order to protect the lives and properties of the people.”
Governor Oyetola further assured residents of the state of safety, adding that the government is on top of the security situation in Ilesa and in all parts of the state.
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