By Yahaya Rahmon 

ABUJA – Ahead of the 2019 general elections, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is set to train over 800,000 ad hoc staff across the country within two months.

The chairman, Board of the Electoral Institute (BEI) Prince Solomon Adedeji Soyebi stated this while alerting the electoral officers that they are in danger zone in the conduct of the 2019 general elections.

According to Soyebi, there was no time for the electoral officers to waste adding that the commission will train 800,000 ad hoc staff that will participate in the 2019 general elections.

Speaking at the Pre-election Training Readiness Assessment Workshop held at the Institute, Soyebi urged the staff not to take chances.

“No wasting time or experimenting,” Soyebi told the electoral officers adding that what is required of them are enormous.

“We are in danger zone,” Soyebi said adding that it was exactly 61 days to the 2019 general elections, which they must train up to 800,000 ad hoc staff.

“You are to do it in your area,” Soyebi said of the training of ad hoc staff adding, “If you don’t plan properly, no amount of prayer will help. Nigerians like prayers but we must work and pray. You must be part of the training till the end,” he charged the electoral officers.

“The task ahead of the commission is enormous but surmountable one. We cannot conduct free and fair elections without well trained election personnel,” the BOT chairman said.

“You must work together,” Soyebi said referring to several departments in INEC.

The acting Director General (DG) of the Electoral Institute, Dr Sa’ad Umar Idris said training was another opportunity for the staff to create a synergy within themselves for onward training of the ad hoc staff.

“The training department developed its training plan for the 2019 general elections, and secured the commission approval for implementation.

“We can only succeed in our mandate through painstaking and meticulous planning. There must be synergy and collective responsibility by the Electoral Operations and ICT, for the State Training Officers (STOs), to effectively execute their functions,” he said.

“The selection of this calibre of participants was well-thought out. I am of the strong belief that by the end of this interaction, there will be heightened zeal and commitment in ensuring seamless collaboration in the planning for, and execution of all trainings,” the DG added.

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