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“No Repeat Of 2011 Experience” – Jega Assures Corp Members On Election Duty

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The Chairman of In­dependent National Electoral Commis­sion (INEC), Pro­fessor Attahiru Jega, has re-assured members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) participat­ing in electoral duties of adequate protection.

Jega, who gave the as­surance when the NYSC management team led by the Director General, Brigadier- General Johnson Bamidele Olawumi, paid him courtesy visit at the INEC headquar­ters in Abuja, yesterday, ad­mitted that the involvement of the scheme in the conduct of elections has increased the credibility of the elec­tions.

He said: “It is with great pleasure and delight that I welcome the NYSC team. I want to commend you for what the scheme has been doing to improve electoral process. I want to also com­mend the scheme for the professionalism they have added in their involvement in electoral duty since 2011.

“We have enjoyed the collaborative efforts with the management of NYSC. It is very sad to remember the unfortunate incident that happened in the 2011 gen­eral elections, where some corps members lost their lives in a post election vio­lence. We have done every­thing possible to ensure that such incident don’t happen again in this country.

“We are very pleased with the initiatives you have tak­en in establishing the elec­toral security committee to particularly review the par­ticipation of the scheme. It is also good that it factored the Sheik Gumi report on elec­toral violence and I assure you that the recommenda­tions you have made would be of paramount importance to the conduct of the elec­tions in 2014.

“I would like to assure you that we will do every­thing possible to ensure that the corps members on electoral duties are provided adequate security and pro­tection. All hands are on deck to ensure provision of conducive environment to protect and provide for the corps members.”

The INEC boss said, though the involvement of the corps members is volun­tary, “we should also know that it is part of their na­tional service to this country and we will go extra mile to ensure that we minimize the challenges they face dur­ing and after electoral du­ties and protect and protect them.”

In would be recalled, sadly, that the post violence from the 2011 elections led to death of 10 serving Corp members, in Bapchild state. The unfortunate event, led all for the exemption of Corp members from election duty. Even though, such calls weren’t completely heeded, participation of Corp members during elections, is completely voluntary.

Speaking earlier, the NYSC Director General said the scheme, in collabo­ration with the military and other security agents, has set up electoral security com­mittee as part of the arrange­ments to ensure the security of the corps members par­ticipating in electoral duties.

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