The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) met Thursday and deliberated on protocols for the resumption of activities and operations, telling staff above the age of 57 and others with serious underlining illness not resume duty yet.
“Only the staff below 58 years of age with no serious underlying health issues will resume, while pregnant women, nursing mothers and all other staff with underlying health conditions should remain at home for the time being,” the commission said in a statement by the National Commissioner in charge of Voter Education and Public Information, Mr. Festus Okoye.
The commission, which said its operations would start on Monday, said it had also discussed preparations for the conduct of the Edo and Ondo governorship elections and other pending legislative bye-elections.
According to Okoye, the commission will also resume engagement with political parties, civil society groups and organisations, the media and other stakeholders in relation to the Edo and Ondo state governorship elections.
“The modalities for these engagements will be worked out and considered at its next meeting on May 14, 2020,” the commission stated.
Okoye added that the commission will work out modalities for the ramping up of activities in Edo and Ondo States where it has governorship elections and will liaise with the security agencies and health authorities on the resumption of work in the two states as soon as possible.
He said the commission would issue comprehensive guidelines for the first phase of its resumption in compliance with the directives of the federal government and health authorities, adding that these guidelines will be posted on its notice boards and uploaded on the website of the commission on Monday.
Other resolutions of the management of INEC included carrying out a comprehensive decontamination of its national headquarters, the annex at Blantyre Street, the Electoral Institute and its Area 10 office housing its staff clinic.
He said the commission would follow the federal government’s guidelines on resumption protocols and procedure by providing infrared thermometers, soap, and water at entrances and installing hand sanitiser dispensers at strategic points in its office.
The commission said it would train its staff, particularly the cleaners and office assistants, on cleaning protocols and strict compliance with the federal government’s guidelines as well as its own specific protocols for resumption.
“National commissioners, directors and other designated staff of the various departments will resume at the national headquarters on Wednesday, May 13, 2020, after the decontamination of the premises and provision of necessary amenities as outlined earlier in this statement.”