The Independent National commission, INEC, in Cross River State, has held a training for about 1914 adhoc staff, in preparation for the February 26, 2021, Ogoja/Yala federal constituency and Akpabuyo State constituency bye elections in the state
The Electoral Umpire has also spelt out processes and guidelines for the elections to eligible voters in the Ogoja/Gala and Akpabuyo areas. These was contained in a statement signed by the state resident electoral commissioner, Dr. Cyril Omorogbe and the administrative secretary, Mrs Irene N. Nghuma, and made available journalists in Calabar.
“All eligible voters whose names appeared in the INEC Register 2019 that they are qualified to participate in the forthcoming Bye-election in Ogoja/Yala Federal Constituency and Akpabuyo State Constituency which is scheduled to hold on Saturday February 26, 2022.
“Biometrics Voters Authentication System BVAS will be used for accreditation. Accreditation and Voting will take place simultaneously between 8 o’clock in the morning to 2:30 in the afternoon.
“Remember that only your Permanent Voter’s Card PVC is your power to vote. Please note that Permanent Voter’s Card PVC no matter the year issued does not expire.
“However, new registrants who enrolled from when the Continuous Voter Registration CVR commenced in June 2021 till date should note that they cannot vote in this election. The date for collection of PVCs nationwide will be announced by the Commission. INEC will follow all protocols of COVID-19 in these elections,” the commissioner assured.
Meanwhile ahead of the said Elections, the commission has already commenced the training of a total of 1914 adhoc staff for the elections, the the administrative secretary, Mrs Irene N. Nghuma, also said,
“The Train the Trainer TOT, for Supervisory Presiding Officers SPOs, who are drawn from Federal Establishments/Institutions in compliance with INEC Guidelines in preparation for Ogoja/Yala Federal Constituency and the Akpanuyo State Constituency bye-elections scheduled for February 26th 2022 have commenced today February 14th 2022.
She also said, “The training will focus on Polling and counting procedures and other election processes.”
She added that, The two day training is organized by the Electoral Institute TEI with the objective of providing the SPOs with Electoral skills and knowledge to be able to cascade the training to Presiding Officers POs and Assistant Presiding Officers APOs and act as Supervisory Presiding Officers in the Bye-elections.
Meanwhile, while declaring the training open, the Head of Electoral Operations, INEC Cross River State, Mr. Fred Emezu, urged the participants not to take the training for granted.
” This training is one of those election trainings that require maximum concentration, concentrate, as there’s always something new to learn like the new technology of Bimodal Voter Authentication System BVAS device which will be unveiled to the participants and voters in the State for conduct of elections for the first time”.
Also, the Director General, TEI represented by Mr. Ifeanyi Agoha in his goodwill message, advised the attendees to be non-partisan in the discharge of their duties.
“Adequately equip yourselves in readiness to train the POs and APOs. All election officials including SPOs are expected to observe COVID-19 protocols, in the discharge of their duties during the election”.
The Head of Operations, revealed that the second phase of the training will be for POs and APOs and they will be trained at the Ogoja and INEC Office Calabar from February 17th to 19th, 2022. The Collation Officers and Returning Officers for the elections will be trained thereafter.
The commission revealed that a total of One Thousand, Nine Hundred and Fourteen adhoc personnel of different categories will be used for the two bye elections in Cross River State.