The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Lagos on Monday trained no fewer than 50 Supervisory Presiding Officers (SPOs) to oversee the conduct of the Dec. 3 bye-election in the Ifako-Ijaiye Federal Constituency in Lagos.
Declaring the three-day training open on behalf of the commission, Mr Clement Oha, the Administrative Secretary of INEC in the state assured that the commission would conduct a credible election.
Oha said that the presiding officers would in-turn train other ad hoc staff to be used for the poll.
He said, “the SPOs will supervise the conduct of the poll in a cluster of Polling Units(PUs), they will assist in training poll officials under their respective supervision.
“The SPOs will also ensure that all sensitive and non-sensitive election materials are available at the designated Pus, in the right quantity and at the right time.
“They need to facilitate a refresher training for polling officials at the Registration Area Centre (RAC) and the Super RAC, to perfect strategies for a smooth polling process, including checking the card readers for operational readiness.”
Oha, however, urged the officials to be professional while carrying out their statutory mandate and ensure strict adherence to election ethics.
“Voters should be treated equally with respect. You must be impartial, transparent, professional, gender sensitive, courteous, polite and helpful,” he said.
The secretary assured that the officials would be neutral and impartial to conduct a free and fair election.
According to him, the commission is not leaving any stone unturned to ensure a bye-election everyone would be proud of.
He said that the training of other poll officials would commence on Thursday and end on Saturday.
Oha said that there were only 335 Polling Units and 687 Voting Points, stressing that the commission created the voting points to ease voting in some polling units with a high volume of voters.
The INEC boss said that the commission would need a total numbers of 3,203 polling officials, comprising one returning officer, 11 Registration Area Officers, 35 SPOs and 346 presiding officers.
Others include: 2061 Assistant Presiding Officers (APOs), 133 Reserves APOs, 12 Reserve Registration Area Officers, and one Constituency Supervisor.
The INEC boss urged all political parties and leaders to warn their supporters against violence, advising all stakeholders to observe the rules as contained in the electoral act.
He said that violence in the electoral process could only lead to an election not being concluded within the period provided by law.
The official, who said that the commission was fully prepared for the election, said the accreditation and voting would be held simultaneously.
NAN reports that the commission has assembled more than 1500 Card Readers for the forthcoming bye-election for a seamless accreditation exercise.
Mr Elijah Adewale, who represented the constituency in the House of Representatives, died in Abuja on July 20 and INEC has fixed Dec. 3 for the bye-election into the vacant seat.