Only National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members are authorized election officers to manage the Bimodal Voter Authentication System (BVAS) during the February 25 and March 11 general elections, according to Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Speaking on Saturday, February 18 at the International Conference Centre (ICC) following a tour of the INEC’s training facility for ad-hoc staff or presiding officers and an inspection of the national collation center’s facilities, Yakubu said corps members were mobilized because INEC cannot conduct a credible and peaceful election by relying solely on its workforce.
He further revealed that corps members handling the BVAS will be tracked on election day. Yakubu said;
“Nigeria is fortunate to have young citizens like you. There is no way INEC can conduct elections without the NYSC. You are simply indispensable in the conduct of elections in Nigeria. We cannot conduct elections with our workforce alone.
“So we have to rely on you and other categories of staff. But you are going to operate at the most important level of the electoral system; at the polling unit levels because that is where citizens go and vote. All of you will swear an oath of neutrality.
“Your loyalty is to Nigeria and Nigerians and not to any political party or any candidate. You will be the INEC Chairman at your polling unit. You are the king at the polling units.
“You are the only ones that will handle the BVAS at polling units on election day. Take this job seriously. We are tracking you as well so that we can know who is holding which BVAS. Do not give this BVAS to someone else.”