Kano State Independent Electoral Commission (KANSIEC) has said only election observers that meet the national and international requirement for monitoring elections would be allowed to cover local government elections scheduled for January 16, 2021, in the state.
KANSIEC Chairman, Prof. Garba Ibrahim Sheka announced this in an exclusive interview with Solacebase on Thursday.
Prof. Garba Ibrahim Sheka said monitoring of the election would not be without measures so as to check influx of fake election observers and those not related to election monitoring that mostly creates chaos.
‘’We have put measures in place to allow only Civil Society Organisations and Non-Governmental Organisations that are relevant to election-related issues would be accredited, ‘’Prof. Sheka said.
‘’With our past experience with election observers whereby fake and unaccredited election observers would try to manipulate their way to participate in monitoring would not be allowed. Also, for instance, you have NGOs or CSOs concerned with Health related issues like mother and child mortality, Environment or access to water and sanitation, this will not be allowed.”
The KANSIEC Chairman noted that not more than 35 election observers with good track records would be accredited in the exercise scheduled for January next year.
On the level of preparedness-
Prof. Garba Ibrahim Sheka said the commission is adhering to the election time table.
‘’As I speak with you we have commenced the recruitment of Electoral Officers that will, in turn, employ other ad-hoc staff at the local areas to work with’’
‘’Although we have modified the method of the employment of the ad-hoc staff to be employed by the Electoral Officers so that they would not embark on favouritism and engage incompetent persons’’
According to him,’’ Totally we intend to engage about 48,000 ad hoc staff for the election that would take place in 11,000 voting points across the 44 local government of the state.
Also, Prof. Sheka explained that electoral officers would not be entrusted with payment of their ad hoc staff like the 2018 exercise whereby many of those employed were not paid, rather all ad hoc staff must have a bank account so that their allowances can be transferred directly to their bank accounts.
Prof. Garba Ibrahim Sheka said the contractor engaged is already supplying the materials needed for the elections, like some of the non-sensitive materials that include forms, guidelines, training manuals and regalia to forestall recurrence of delay in the delivery of the needed items.
‘’This time around we told the vendors that we want all the materials printed in Nigeria, so as to save cost and prevent delay in delivery, ‘’KANSIEC Chairman said.
‘’According to the contractor, all the non-sensitive materials are ready and based on our request, the items are made available.’’
He added that with the arrangement put in place, the delivery of all the materials both sensitive and non-sensitive would be available in good time before the election day.
The KANSIEC Chairman while assuring that the commission would be fair and just to all the contestants, appealed to the people to support its course in delivering a peaceful, rancour-free and fair elections.