The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, in Edo, on Friday, sought the support of the National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, ahead of the Sept. 21, 2024 governorship election in the state.
Dr Anugbum Onuoha, the State Resident Electoral Commissioner, REC, made the call during a familiarisation visit to Mrs Ifeoma Ben-Ushie, the state NYSC Coordinator in Benin.
Onuoha said NYSC had been a critical stakeholder in Nigeria’s electoral process, adding that corps members would be needed for the conduct of the Edo off-season election coming up in September.
He said, “I am here with my management team on a familiarisation visit. I resumed here in January and I thought that we need to visit you because you are critical stakeholder in our election process
“The off season election in Edo has just started with the party congresses and the main election is in September.
“And it is important that we come and see you so that you are aware of what we are doing.
“We would be needing your corps members to assist us conduct the election that would be free, fair and credible and the people’s votes will count.”
According to him, “we cannot do it alone, that is why we are here to partner with you.”
Responding, Ben-Ushie thanked the INEC REC for the visit, saying she was also barely two weeks old in the state.
She disclosed that the MoU between INEC and NYSC was over 10 years before it was reviewed in 2013.
According to her, “corps members have been doing the job satisfactorily along with the inspectors monitoring.
“The job has been done as it is supposed to be done but there are few areas that INEC should look into – providing adequate security, conducive Registration Area Centres (RACs) and prompt payment of allowance among others.
“The RACs should be made conducive with all basic amenities available for the comfort of the corps members.
“In most states, INEC abandons the corp member to themselves as soon they finish the election.
“We would not want a situation where corps members are left alone because it is a threat to their lives, especially in volatile areas where there are conflicts.
“We want the RACs to be ready for them to pass the night. They should be picked up in the morning and please ensure that there is security personnel to protect them.
“Also ensure that at the end of the day, corps members are adequately returned so that they go back to their respective homes.
“So lets prepare very well so that the election will be a smooth one,” she said.