INEC Chairman, Yakubu

PDP, APGA, others task INEC on 2023 polls

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Amid the reported shortage of personnel in the Independent National Electoral Commission, political parties have called on the commission to take necessary steps to ensure that the 2023 general elections are fair and transparent.

Speaking to Sunday PUNCH, the National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, Debo Ologunagba, urged the Federal Government to provide the resources needed by the umpire to deliver on its mandate.

Ologunagba said, “If it is established that there are existing vacancies to be filled at INEC, the Federal government must provide every resource, material and human, to enable the commission to fulfil its obligation to Nigerians.”

The National Chairman of the All Progressive Grand Alliance, Chief Victor Oye, said INEC had enormous responsibility that it was constitutionally bound to fulfil.

“I think INEC is aware of the enormity of the work ahead and I believe it will do everything possible to meet up. There is still time and I have confidence in the capacity of the commission to deliver on its mandate,” Oye said.

However, the National Youth Leader of the Labour Party, Anslem Eragbe, noted that INEC would easily make up for the shortage of personnel with the engagement of ad hoc staff.

“There is a provision for INEC to use ad-hoc staff. We have told our members who do not have the PVC to apply to be INEC’s ad hoc staff and this is completely legal. This is a way INEC can overcome its shortage of personnel,” he said.

On his part, the National Publicity Secretary, Young Progressives Party, Egbeola Wale-Martins, advised the commission to adopt a proactive approach in managing its operations.

Wale-Martins added, “It’s a worrisome development and we hope it won’t impede the ability of INEC to conduct a credible and transparent election in 2023 due to insufficient manpower. Even though the time is very short, it’s also not impossible to fill these vacancies by engaging credible recruitment agencies with timelines to undertake recruitment on behalf of INEC.

“The problem may only be impossible to solve only if INEC, which is already overwhelmed with the plethora of electoral activities, decided to undertake the task of recruitment by itself. We are already used to the fire-brigade approach in this part of the world even though it doesn’t conform with global best practices as we are tempted to ask what INEC has been doing for almost four years since the last election in 2019. We hope the right thing will be done on time to avert a major catasrophe that may be caused by a shortage of manpower.”


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