By Emmanuel Oloniruha
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) on Tuesday signed reviewed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the two organisations, on the engagement of members of the Corps for electoral duties.
The daily bulletin issued by the commission disclosed that the MoU was jointly signed by INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, and the NYSC Director-General, Maj.-Gen. Shuaibu Ibrahim.
The bulletin quoted Yakubu as saying this was not the first, but a review to the existing agreement between both organisations.
“It has identified 11 obligations on the part of INEC and 10 obligations on the part of the NYSC,” Yakubu said while signing the MoU at INEC headquarters.
“I want to assure you D-G that we will continue to emphasise the security and welfare of Corps members on election duty. I know that the MoU provides for a periodic review after every four years but this is a regular periodic review.
“Whenever the need arises, the Commission is always willing to review aspects of the memorandum at anytime in order to attain to these two objectives of ensuring the security and welfare of the Corps members,” he said.
Yakubu said that the “MoU is governed by the laws of Nigeria and it shows INEC commitments and seriousness particularly to security and welfare of the Corps members.”
He said that the MoU would provide insurance cover for all ad-hoc staff under the INEC personnel hazard policy for the period of engagement.
“This covers injury, permanent disability, loss of life and property or any person declared missing in the cause of carrying out the Commission’s assigned duties,
“This is why appropriate sections of the public service rules will apply to the NYSC staff, as well as other employees who are public servants serving in the federation of Nigeria”.
Yakubu commending the selflessness, dedication and commitment of members of the NYSC scheme’s contribution towards the successful conduct of elections in the country, saying “Nigeria is Fortunate to have the NYSC”.
The INEC Chairman described the NYSC members service to the electoral process as indispensable.
“The NYSC, youth Corps members are among the most educated, most committed, most patriotic and most readily available election duty staff in Nigeria.
“We are really happy that we have been collaborating with the NYSC. They go to all the nooks and crannies of the country without complain”.
Yakubu further reassured that INEC would continue to do what it needs to do to ensure that the safety and welfare of the corps members remain priority.
“I want to assure you that we take our obligations in the MoU very seriously and I want to once again thank you for standing by Nigeria, for standing by the electoral process, and for standing by our democracy”.
On his part, the DG of NYSC, Maj.-Gen. Ibrahim, appreciated INEC for the long-standing cordial relationship between the two organizations, saying there is enormous contribution of Corps members in enhancing the credibility of elections in Nigeria.
The DG corroborated the INEC Chairman on the successes achieved in Anambra governorship election.
“I was in Anambra for five days, Corps members were scared and I told them there was no cause to fear.
“I moved round the local governments, Polling Unit by Polling Unit and this engendered their confidence in the electoral process and they did their best. There was no injury, nothing happened to any of my Corps members”.
Ibrahim urged INEC to sustain the relationship with the NYSC, and assured that the Youth corps members remain committed to serving the Country and contributing to conduct of credible elections.
“I want to urge INEC to continue to sustain this relationship with NYSC.
“I can assure you that Corps members are willing, they’re very patriotic and they are ready to put in their best to the service of the country”.
According to INEC bulletin, the signing of the MoU was also witnessed by all 12 National Commissioners, Secretary to the Commission; Mr Rose Anthony-Oriaran; the Director General of the Electoral Institute, Dr Saád Idris, Directors and other Management staff of the Commission. (NAN)