2019 general elections: INEC begins staff training

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), on Monday, began a five-day training programme for its personnel ahead of the 2019 general elections. The national commissioner, INEC, Muhammed Haruna, while declaring the workshop open, said the training was with the support of the European Centre for Electoral Support (ECES) Haruna said the training was meant to sharpen and enhance skills and capacity of the staff to able to represent the commission effectively ahead of the task in 2019. 

The INEC national commissioner acknowledged that the electoral body had a lot of challenge ahead in face of the advent of the Internet and the social media, being used to spread hate speeches and fake news. He said: “We will equip the officers with skills and attitudes to effectively propagate the positive chances and activities of the Commission.” He advised the officers to make use of the opportunity to prepare themselves ahead of the enormous, to make the upcoming elections freer, fairer and more credible than the previous elections. 

Haruna commended all partners for their support for the Commission, with particular reference to ECES for its technical support. In his remarks, David Le notre, ECES’s Executive Director, said the workshop was in the context of component 1 of the European Union Support to Democratic Governance in Nigeria (EU-SDGN). Le notre, represented by Manji Wilson, ECES’s Electoral Administration Expert, said that at the end of the five-day workshop, the officers would have been imbued with the necessary skills to perform any given tasks. He said that facilitators at the workshop would use as references elections in many parts of the World in a localised context for the clear understanding of the participants. 

News Agencypreviously reported that clerics have called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to boost efforts in the distribution of Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) and look for measures to curb vote-buying. The clerics, who made the call in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Monday, July 23, also urged the commission to ensure that results of elections are released on time. 

Rev.Fr. Innocent Ebuka, a Catholic priest of the Missionary Society of St. Paul, Lagos, said INEC needed to ensure that all registered voters get their PVCs ahead of the general elections in 2019. Ekiti Election 2018: Water Tight Security in Ado-Ekiti as INEC Expects Election Materials.