By Chidi Opara
Owerri, – The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says its just concluded one-day training for its staff on Election Project Plan (EPP) Implementation for 2019 is to ensure free and fair elections.
Prof Francis Ezeonu, the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Imo, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) during in Owerri that the training was to review the election project plan to enable mangement and staff to buy into the plan.
He said that the training was also to ensure efficient conduct of elections in 2019.
“The commission has developed an election project plan for 2019 election to ensure it is free and fair.
“The aim is to make sure every management staff and officers buy into the plan for us to move ahead.
“It is a central plan designed by the commission not specifically for Imo State, but for all staff to enable them understand the main objective of the commission in order to discharge their responsibilities efficiently,” he said.
Ezeonu said that the election project plan was “circumscribed by timeliness delimited by the Constitution and Electoral Act”.
He said the training looked into the current electoral risk map of Imo State.
He said the Election Management System (EMS) was a major instrument for the delivery of 2019 election project plan providing the mechanism for the implementation and tracking of electoral activities.
The REC said that the EMS was designed and structured to enhance electoral planning, implementaion and monitoring processes through identification and sequencing of activities and tables in a coordinated, effective and efficient manner.
“This was done by identifying, selecting and focusing on critical electoral processes that are closely associated with the challenges of logistics, staff management, training, procurement, voter registration, political parties and candidates management as welll as coordinating and managing Election Day,” he said.
Some of the participants commended INEC for instituting the plan and the training, which they said, would help them understand and key into the overall objective and strategy of the commission for credible elections in 2019.
NAN reports that the election project plan and calender of acitivities for the 2019 general elections comprised continous voter registration, legal requirements for political parties and candidates and printing of voter registration for 2019 election.
Others are distribution of PVCs, configuration and deployment of smart cards, voter eductaion and public enlghtment activities, election trainings and RAC preparation.
The election project plan also takes into account electoral alternative dispute resolution, condition of stores and storage facilities, transportation, election management, recruitment of electoral staff, security arrangement and election day.