The Independent National Electoral Commission Resident Electoral Commission (REC) in Kwara State, Malam Garba Attahiru-Madami says the Commission will embark on aggressive preparations for the 2023 General Elections in the state.
Speaking in Ilorin at a ceremony to mark his first year anniversary of his resumption as the Electoral Commissioner in Kwara, Madami said Kwara INEC would not wait until election time before it began its preparation.
Madami stressed that between now and the election period in 2023, INEC would be busy with one programme or the other such as voter education, training, mobilization, registration of voters and stakeholders’ meetings.
“We are not going to wait till 2022 before we start preparation for the 2023 General Elections, we are going to be busy from now in Kwara with series of programmes in preparation for the elections,” he said.
He said the Commission would procure many dummy smart card readers to train prospective ad hoc staff that would take part in the 2023 elections in the state.
“As from 2022, we will commence the training of corps members that would serve as ad hoc staff on the smart card readers using the dummies that I will procure and even on how to fix faulty ones.
“The training we are giving corps members are not enough, we will about eight training programmes for all our prospective ad hoc staff,” the REC added.
Madami also said there would be training and retraining of staff to build their capacity in preparation for the 2023 elections.
He said the commission would hold series of sensitization and consultative meetings with all stakeholders like traditional rulers, women societies, Civil Society Organisation, NGOs, disable people, politicians and students.
These consultative meetings, the REC said would be spread over time to fully engage all INEC in the state.
Madami, who expressed worry over the low participation of women in elective positions during the last elections in Kwara, promised to embark on sustained awareness campaign and sensitization of women to take more active participation in politics.
The REC also planned to take voter education to schools by organizing debates, quizzes in primary school and secondary school right from local government, to zone and final at the INEC headquarters.
This, the REC added would create awareness among the students and keep them abreast of their rights as voters and to also educate their parents on voter education.
Madami expressed his satisfaction and contentment with the outcome of the 2019 elections in Kwara and also expressed his gratitude to all stakeholders for the success of the elections.
He expressed hope that by 2023, number of registered voters in the state would have reached two million plus as against the present N1.4 million because of the series of programmes and sensitizations.