By Our Reporter
The Independent National Electoral Commission says it has commenced training for ad-hoc staff for the Ogoja/Yala federal constituency and Akpabuyo state constituency bye-elections coming up on the 26 of this month.
According, Mrs. Irene Oghuma, Administrative Secretary of the electoral body in Cross River State, about 1,914 ad-hoc staff will be trained to handle the bye-election.
The two day training which will focus on Polling and counting procedures and other election processes, 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.
Head of Electoral Operations, INEC Cross River State, Mr. Fred Emezu who declared the Workshop open on behalf the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Cross River State, Dr. Cyril Omorogbe, urged the participants to concentrate and take the training serious, as there is always something new to learn like the new technology of Bimodal Voter Authentication System (BVAS). Maintaining that the BIVAS will be fully deplored for the bye-election in the state.
The Train the Trainer (TOT) for Supervisory Presiding Officers (SPOs) who are drawn from Federal Establishments in compliance with INEC Guidelines, will focus on providing the SPOs with electoral skills and knowledge.
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. He further charged them to adequately equip themselves in readiness to train the POs and APOs.
According to him, all election officials including SPOs are expected to observe COVID-19 protocols in the discharge of their duties during the election.
INEC maintained that the second phase of the training will be for POs and APOs who will be trained at the Ogoja INEC office from February 17th to 19th, 2022, while the Collation Officers and Returning Officers for the elections will be trained thereafter.
Meanwhile, the electoral body says all eligible voters whose names appeared in INEC Register 2019 are qualified to participate in the forthcoming Bye-election in Ogoja/Yala Federal Constituency, and Akpabuyo State Constituency.
According to the state Resident Electoral Commissioner, Dr. Cyril Omorogbe, voting will take place simultaneously between 8.30 a.m. – 2.30 p.m, while eligible voters are to note that the Permanent Voter’s Card (PVC) no matter the year issued does not expire.
He however, said new registrants who enrolled from when the Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) commenced in June 2021 till date should note that they wilI be unable to vote during the bye-election.