The Independent National Electoral Commission has said 850,000 personnel, including ad hoc staff, would be trained for the 2019 general elections.
The first phase of the training, which began in Calabar on Monday, involved State Training Officers and Assistant Training Officers from the 36 states of the country, and they will in turn train others at various levels.
The Chairman, Board of Electoral Institute which is the training arm of INEC, Mr. Solomon Soyebi, declared the two-day training workshop open on behalf of INEC Chairman, Mahmud Yakubu.
“This is another concerted effort by the Commission to ensure that we get adequately prepared for the 2019 general elections,” Soyebi said while declaring the workshop open.
He said at least one million personnel would be involved in the elections and all of them would undergo training between this week and next week.
He said, “The Commission is determined to deliver free, fair and credible elections, no matter what it takes, come February 16, 2019.”
Soyebi also spoke of procedures being put in place to accommodate people with disabilities during the entire electoral process, saying, “no democracy is complete without taking care of people living with disability.”
He thanked the International Foundation for Electoral Systems for providing funding and technical support for the training programme.
The Acting Director-General of the Electoral Institute, Dr. Umar Idris, told the trainees that, “We cannot conduct free and fair elections without well trained personnel. Over 850,000 personnel will be trained for the general elections and the responsibility lies on you to deliver quality and effective training at all levels.”
The state Resident Electoral Commissioner, Dr. Frankland Briyai, said after the two-day training, the trainees should go back to their respective states and implement what they have learnt.
The director of IFES handling the training, Seray Ja, said the task of the trainees was enormous and charged them to take the training seriously.
Founder of Albino Foundation, Jake Epelle, said inclusiveness was what makes electoral process credible and thanked INEC for including people living with disability in its electoral processes.