INEC chairman Professor Mahmood Yakubu
INEC chairman Professor Mahmood Yakubu

By Yinusa Ishola

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Wednesday said it would deploy 1, 825 ad hoc staff for the Nov. 17 by-election for the vacant House of Representatives seat in Kwara.

Malam Garuba Madami, the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Kwara, made the disclosure in his remarks at a stakeholders’ meeting in Omu-Aran, Irepodun Local Government Area.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the meeting held at the Government Secondary School, Omu-Aran, was at the instance of INEC to interact with the stakeholders ahead of the election.

The by-election is in respect of Ekiti, Isin, Irepodun and Oke-Ero Federal Constituency.

It became vacant following the death of Rep. Funke Adedoyin, who was elected in 2015 on the ticket of APC, but later defected to the PDP.

Ms Adedoyin, daughter of the Nigerian industrialist, Samuel Adedoyin, died on Sept. 28 in a hospital in Abuja.

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Madami said that 1,532 of the figure was reserved for serving the youth corps members, while the rest were officials of the commission and other categories of workers.

While giving the breakdown of the election statistics across the four local government areas, he said that the councils consist of 42 Registration Areas (RAs), 330 Voting Units and 383 Voting Points.

He gave the total the number of already collected Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) across the councils as 122,656, leaving 46, 700 yet to be collected.

The electoral officer expressed disappointment at the low level of PVCs collection in the state, urging the party leaders, traditional rulers and other stakeholders to ensure that the PVCs were collected.

He described the by-election as a litmus test for both the commission and the contending parties ahead of the 2019 general elections.

Madami also expressed the commission’s readiness to conduct a credible, free and fair election that would meet the aspirations of all stakeholders, including the international community.

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“Please do not exercise fear; let us conduct ourselves peacefully before, during and after the election in order to achieve the desired aims and objectives,” he said.

Commenting, Oba Abdulraheem Adeoti, the Olomu of Omu-Aran, appealed to the stakeholders to join hands with the electoral body and security agencies in achieving the desired success.

The monarch was represented by Chief Jide Adebayo, the Eesa of Omu-Aran and a retired Director with the News Agency of Nigeria