Ahead of the 2019 general elections, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Thursday, December 20, has cried out over the lingering strike embarked upon by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) describing it as a threat to its preparations for the conduct of the poll, This Day reports.
It was gathered that INEC national commissioner and chairman of its information and voter education committee, Barr. Festus Okoye, Speaking at a one day workshop on Gender Sensitive Reporting of Elections in Abuja, said over 70 per cent of the adhoc staff requirement for the elections was drawn from students of federal tertiary institutions.
He said: “The lingering strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities ASUU will no doubt have serious impact on the preparations for the conduct of the 2019 elections.
“It is therefore important that students of federal tertiary institutions should and must be in school at least a month before the February 16 Presidential and National Assembly elections. They are one critical resource and their absence will have adverse effects on the ad hoc staff requirement of the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC.”
Dr Adekunle Ogunmola, INEC national commissioner and chairman of its outreach and partnership committee, in his opening remarks, urged the media to function as a transparency watchdog, a campaign platform, a public educator and an open forum for debates and discussions, saying INEC was concerned about gender discrimination in political news reportage.