INEC Chairman, Prof Mahmood Yakubu

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has barred staff above the age of 58 years, pregnant and nursing mothers from resuming work as its headquarters begins operations on Wednesday, next week.
A statement issued by a National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Barr Festus Okoye, after it’s Thursday meeting, INEC said it will resume engagement with political parties, Civil Society Groups and Organizations, the media and other stakeholders in relation to the Edo and Ondo governorship elections.
The commission said the modalities for these engagements will be worked out and considered at its next meeting on May 14, 2020.
“Only 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,” Okoye said.
He said INEC resolved to carry out comprehensive decontamination of its National Headquarters, annex at Blantyre Street, the Electoral Institute and its Area 10 office housing its staff clinic.
“To follow the Federal Government Guidelines on resumption protocols and procedure by providing infrared thermometers, soap and water at entrances and installing hand sanitizer dispensers at strategic points in the Commission.
“To train its staff, particularly the cleaners and office assistants on cleaning protocols and strict compliance with Federal Government Guidelines as well as its own specific protocols for resumption. To issue comprehensive Guidelines for the first phase of its resumption in compliance with the directives of the Federal Government and health authorities. These guidelines will be posted on its notice boards and uploaded on the website of the Commission on Monday May 11, 2020,” he said.
INEC said 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.
“Only 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 will work out modalities for the ramping up of activities in two of the States where it has Governorship elections (Edo and Ondo) and will liaise with the security agencies and health authorities on resumption of work in the 2 States as soon as possible,” the statement added.

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