The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has warned that the protracted strike embarked upon by the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, may affect the conduct of the 2019 general election.
This is in view of the role played by lecturers and students alike as ad-hoc staff during elections.
According to INEC, it might be totally impossible to rely on National Youths Service Corps members alone for the exercise.
The Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee of INEC, Festus Okoye, who made this known in Abuja at a one-day seminar on Media and Gender Sensitive Reporting of Elections said students from federal tertiary institutions make up a significant percentage of the ad-hoc staff for elections.
He said in view of the important roles lecturers and students play, ASUU and the Federal Government should, as a matter of urgency, solve the problems that had continued to make the strike endure.
His words: “For the 2019 elections, INEC will recruit and deploy over one million ad-hoc staff made up of lecturers and students in federal tertiary institutions and corps members.
“These categories of ad-hoc staff will serve as returning officers, collation officers, supervisory presiding officers and assistant presiding officers.
“The bulk of assistant presiding officers will be drawn from students of institutions. INEC is presently organising root training for corps members and wants to begin that with students.
“So it is important and imperative that they are in school a month before the election for this to happen.”