The Ondo State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Mr. Rufus Akeju, says the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) plays a pivotal role in the country’s elections.
Receiving the state coordinator of the NYSC, Mrs. Grace Akpabio, on Thursday in Akure, he said that the visit was to update the scheme, as a critical stakeholder to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on preparations for the forthcoming Ondo governorship election.
He said the challenges facing INEC following the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, have made the commission to embark on innovations, which would be in tandem with COVID -19 precautionary measures and safety protocols.
He said that the NYSC would be informed of its responsibilities as soon as his office receives the ratification of the recommendations made to INEC’s headquarters in Abuja.
“I want to assure you that INEC is poised to improve on previous elections conducted and you will agree with me that gubernatorial elections both in Edo and Ondo states will come in a new dimension as a result of COVID-19.
“The state office has sent proposals about the conduct of this election to our corporate headquarters in Abuja and we shall brief you on the roles corps members are expected to perform during the election,” he said.
Earlier, Akpabio said that the NYSC Director-General, Brig.-Gen. Shuaibu Ibrahim, acknowledged the role played by INEC any time corps members had challenges during 2019 general elections.
Akpabio emphasised the need for INEC and NYSC to develop a template that would encourage corps members to participate in elections, in spite of the challenges experienced during previous polls.
The NYSC chief further stressed the scheme’s resolve to disallow the posting of corps members to riverine areas for electoral duties, urging INEC to consider this while working on modalities for the forthcoming governorship election.