The Independent National Electoral Commission on Monday said that it had put in place security mechanism to ensure that members of the National Youth Service Corps and other ad hoc staff that would be deployed for the 2015 general elections are protected.
The commission disclosed that a lot was also being done to ensure that problems of logistics do not arise in the next general elections.
INEC Chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega, gave these assurances in his paper titled, ‘The 2015 general elections: Conversations with Nigeria’s Female Stakeholders’, which he delivered during a workshop organised by the Nigerian Women Trust Fund at The Electoral Institute, Abuja.
The INEC boss said the commission had met with the NYSC management to compile the addresses of all NYSC lodges in order to prevent a repeat of the 2011 post-electoral violence during which some corps members were killed in Bauchi State.
Jega recalled that the corps members deployed for that elections were attacked in their various lodges.
He therefore assured that the commission “will be providing security to the NYSC camps before and after elections, and adequate security will be provided for the ad hoc staff that will be deployed during the periods”.
He said, “We give assurance that preparations by INEC for the 2015 general elections are proceeding in earnest. Learning from the experiences of 2011, especially regarding the need for early preparations, the commission has undertaken the task of fundamental restructuring of its bureaucracy, established new policies to guide its work and embarked on far-reaching planning of its operations through a strategic plan, an election project plan and an election management system; these are vigorously being implemented”.
According to him, INEC is at the verge of finalizing arrangements towards making the 2015 general elections more credible and transparent.
He also said that the completion of the “consolidation and de-duplication” of the biometric register of voters, which he said “now has tremendous integrity, much better than the one with which 2011 elections were conducted”.
Jega, however, cautioned that the task of conducting credible and peaceful elections should not be left to INEC alone.
He said, “All stakeholders have important roles to play, not only in the core plans for the elections, but also in ensuring that all Nigerians, especially women, actively participate in the democratic process.
“This will immensely enrich our democratic experience and deepen our political culture”.
He added that the commission had also put in place plans that would ensure increased participation of women in subsequent elections in the country.
Jega noted that the commission was committed to ensuring gender equity as a key aspect of propagation of sound principles of democratic practices in Nigeria.
This, he said, the electoral commission was going to achieve through its gender policy.