The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Thursday said the resolution of the problems that led to the Academic Staff Union of Universities(ASUU) strike would be in the national interest and Nigeria’s democracy.
The electoral umpire said the lingering strike by ASUU would slow down preparations and subsequently affect the conduct of the 2019 general election.
Festus Okoye, chairman, information and voter education committee of INEC, disclose this at a one-day seminar on media and gender sensitive reporting of elections in Abuja.
Okoye noted that it was practically impossibe for the members of the National Youth Service Corp (NYSC) to provide all the ad-hoc staff needs and requirements of the commission.
He said over 70 percent requirement in some states of the federation were drawn from students of federal tertiary institutions.
His words “For the 2019 elections, INEC will recruit and deploy over one million adhoc staff made up of lecturers and students in federal tertiary institutions and corps members
“These category of adhoc staff will serve as returning officers, collation officers, supervisory presiding officers and assistant presiding officers.
“The bulk of assistant presiding officers will be drawn from students of institutions, INEC is presently organising root training for corps members and wants to begin that with students.
“So it is important and imperative that they are in school a month before the election for this to happen.”
Okoye, therefore, prevailed on ASUU and the federal government to quickly and genuinely find a lasting solution to the perennial conundrum that led to uncertainty in the education sector.
Adekunle Ogunmola, chairman, outreach and partnership committee of INEC, said the seminar was organised to deliberate on new ways to use media to promote gender equality in the electoral process.
Ogunmola said the commission understood the indisputable role of the media in setting and resetting the mindset of the electorate to make the 2019 elections more gender sensitive.