… As INEC plans expansion of polling units for 2023 elections***
The National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) in Jigawa, on Monday, says that henceforth, 90 per cent of corps members in the state will be deployed to rural schools.
The new NYSC state Coordinator, Hajiya Aishatu Adamu, made this known when she paid a courtesy visit to the newsmen in Dutse.
Newsmen reports that Adamu, who assumed duty on April 8, was with newsmen, as part of her courtesy visits to critical stakeholders of NYSC in the state.
“I wish to state that as long as I’m here, I will ensure that 90 per cent of corps members are distributed equitably to schools that need their services, for the rapid development of education sector in the state,” she said.
Adamu said that the move was part of NYSC‘s efforts towards boosting the teaching quality in rural communities across the state.
The coordinator, who commended newsmen for publicising NYSC’s activities in the state, also identified the agency as one of the foremost federal agencies collaborating with the corps.
She announced that science-based COVID-19 volunteers among the corps members would be trained and posted to rural communities in the state.
According to her, the volunteers will be attached to health facilities to sensitise community members on basic hygiene rules and how to prevent themselves from contracting the virus.
“In this regard, to ensure that our campaigns have positive impact, I request that you kindly oblige us in the coverage of our developmental activities,” Adamu said.
Responding, the newsmen State Correspondent, Mr Abdullahi Mohammed, thanked the coordinator for the visit and promised her the agency’s continual support.
Newsmen reports that the coordinator was accompanied by some NYSC officials, including: Mr Samanuwa Yusuf, Assistant Director, Co-Inspection and Monitoring, and Mr Omar Mohammed, Assistant Director, Community Development Service.
Others were: Mr Emeka Ugwu, Assistant Director, Information and Mr Umar Adamu, Principal Officer, Information.
In another development, Ahead of 2023 general elections, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has promised to make polling units accessible to the electorate to remove voter apathy during elections.
INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Kwara, Malam Garba Attahiru-Madami, made this known on Monday in Ilorin while declaring open two-day training on “Implementation of expansion of voters’ access to polling units”.
The newsmen report that the training was for Electoral Officers (EOs) and Assistant Electoral Officers (AEOs) in charge of Administration, Operations and Cluster Registration areas drawn from the 16 local government areas of Kwara.
Attahiru-Madami said polling points in all polling units would be expanded to polling units to make them accessible to the people.
He noted that many eligible voters refused to vote on election day because of the distance of polling units to their residences.
The REC told the participants that the training was very important to INEC, just as election was important, adding that without polling unit, there would be no election.
“Election start from polling unit, if there is no polling unit, there would be no election and collation, that is how important polling unit is,” he added.
He therefore, charged the participants to take the training very serious as the outcome of the training would offer opportunity on what they would do on the field.
“I don’t need to re-emphasise why access to polling unit is very important. We already know that this exercise was carried out in 1996 and it was to serve 50 million voters.
“In 2019 election, we have greater voters of 84 million; you can see that the polling units now are grossly inadequate.
“By the time general election will take place in 2023, our projection is to have over 120 million voters.
“The number of polling units we have now cannot serve the 120 million voters, so the training is very important,” he said.
According to the REC, one of the reasons for voter apathy is because the polling unit was not accessible to them.
He said that some polling units have over 1,000 to 5,000 voters that were spread to polling points.
“So, we want to see how we can convert some of these voting points to polling units to meet the need of the people on election day.
“In some communities with communal clash, having their own polling unit would solve such conflict, because you will see a villager that will say, I will not go to that village to vote,” he added.
He said the idea of expansion of polling units was to remove voter apathy and reduce distance from home to the polling unit.