Over 1500 NYSC members turned up for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) training at Abeokuta Grammar School in Idi-Aba, Abeokuta, Ogun State. The corps members under the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) program came out in troops to participate in the mandatory INEC training on Friday, 1st of February, 2019. It had all manner of corps members, even pregnant women and nursing mothers who came from far and near to participate. This included ex-corps members and currently serving corps from all batches.
Corp members resumed as early as 8am for the training which lasted till 5pm. Some corps members who came unprepared or with the hope that the training will end early had to make up for it by purchasing whatever they needed at the gate. By the time lunch break was given, corp members stormed vendors around for all forms of sustenance, clearing out shops and stands. By the second day of the training, a mini market was set at the entrance of the school to meet all kinds of needs of the NYSC members. Edibles ranging from cold drinks, to food, to snacks and even fruits were sold. At the close of each day of the training, there was an extreme rush hour as all attendees hustled for some means of transportation to get to diverse parts of the city where they called home. On the last day of the training, there was a parade done by the band during the break to break the attendees away from the ennui that was associated with constant lecturing. Also, pregnant women and nursing mothers who couldn’t cope with the program were sieved out of the mass and sent home.
The training, which was observed in all states of the federal republic, is a prerequisite to participating as an Ad-hoc staff in the forthcoming elections. The training in Ogun State which was initially slated for Tuesday, 29th to Thursday, 31st of January was later shifted to the weekend to allow for convenience and maximum turnout. NYSC members were divided into classes of 50 and given tutors. The classes were named and all students were involved in series of lectures surrounding the rules, conduct and processes involved in the electoral process. Attendance was taken daily and practical demonstrations were also available. Attendees were also tested on the knowledge gained. Inspectors came around from the commission’s headquarters in Abuja to check on the training activities. The training was brought to an official end on Sunday, 3rd of February by 4pm in the evening.
While attendees of the INEC training anxiously await the posting of a list of shortlisted candidates, Idi-Aba will not soon forget the impact of hosting corps members, ex-corps members and staff of the commission for this 3-day intensive training period.