Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, the Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says no staff of the commission should remain analogue and manual mode but all should adapt to technological innovations and creativity.
Yakubu gave the charge on Monday in Lagos at the opening ceremony of a-four-day capacity building for INEC’s Heads of Voter Education and Publicity (VEP) and Public Affairs Officers (PAOs) in the southern states.
The workshop tagged “Capacity Building on Effective Communication for Continuous Voter Education and New Polling Units for INEC’s Head of Voter Education and Public Affairs Officers’’, was organised by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
Yakubu, who was represented Mr Festus Okoye, National Commissioner and Chairman Information and Voter Education Committee, said that staff of the commission must adapt quickly to the new technological realities aimed at deepening electoral process.
The INEC chairman said that the commission was dealing with complex issues, diverse constituencies, intense fight for power and dangerous geographical terrains, hence the need for innovations and creativities.
Yakubu said: “Staff for the commission must adapt quickly to the new technological reality occasioned by advances in technology, the global health pandemic, challenge of best practices in election administration and management.
“The staff of the commission in general and information managers in particular cannot afford to remain analogue and on manual mode when a new generation of Nigerians is migrating steadily to the digital world.
“We must at all times strive to show the way in moving the country toward a direction that will lead to better elections, even as the commission has demonstrated capacity, creativity and innovation in times of great changes, difficulties and challenges.”
According to him, at the height of the pandemic and when many advanced countries suspended or called off their elections, INEC developed an electoral continuity plan and strategy and conducted two constitutionally-circumscribed governorship elections.
He said that INEC policy on conducting elections in the context of COVID-19 pandemic received global and international acclaim and became a standard for so many African countries.
“Within the same period too, the commission developed and deployed INEC Result Viewing Portal (IREV) through which the commission uploaded polling unit results for public view.
“These are innovations and developments all HODs, VEP and PAOs must be abreast of and relay to the public at necessary junctures,” Yakubu said.