As part of its review of the 2023 general elections, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Wednesday met with Electoral Officers (EOs) and leaders of the transport associations.
The post-election review began early this month with Resident Electoral Commissioners (REC) of all the states of the federation and the FCT.
Chairperson for the commission, Mahmood Yakubu, said the review will focus on all aspects of the electoral activities before, during and after the elections.
“Today, we commence a more focused engagement at national level with the Commission’s frontline officials, the Electoral Officers (EOs),” he said at the meeting in Abuja.
“We also considered it appropriate to interface with transport providers to review logistic arrangements by inviting the leadership of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), the National Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO) and the Maritime Workers’ Union of Nigeria (MWUN).”
Mr Yakubu met with them shortly before the 2023 general elections held on 25 February and 18 March and supplementary elections in some constituencies on 15 April.
The meeting was to ensure a smooth and timely movement of electoral materials and staff.
But a widespread logistical challenge, which he has described as perennial, were witnessed in some wards and polling units.
“This meeting, therefore, provides an opportunity to interact on a wide range of themes covering of which ten critical areas are highlighted for discussion,” he added.
The areas, according to him, include; the general state of preparedness for the election, security, Voters Registration Process and the associated issues of Adequacy of Timing, Display of Voter Register for Claims and Objections, Clean-up of Voter Register, PVC Collection, recruitment, training, deployment and remuneration of ad hoc staff, including specific issues of mode of recruitment, conduct of training, timing, adequacy, effectiveness and utility of e-learning training platforms, and strategy for efficient payment of ad hoc staff.
He said the meeting would also look at the matters arising from the implementation of the expansion of voter access to Polling Units; receipt and deployment of election materials; and technology during elections including the various portals for nomination of ad hoc staff, candidates, accreditation of observers, media, polling/collation agents as well as voter registration, accreditation and result management.
At the end of the meeting, he said a comprehensive report will be prepared.
“I, therefore, urge you to lend your wealth of experience to the discussions in order to identify areas of strengths and weaknesses for immediate improvement in forthcoming elections, especially the three off-cycle Governorship elections in Bayelsa, Imo and Kogi States scheduled to hold on Saturday 11th November 2023.
“I want to assure Nigerians that in the next two weeks, the Commission plans to hold more engagements with internal and external stakeholders, including political parties, civil society organisations, the media and security agencies,” Mr Yakubu said.
Qosim Suleiman is a reporter at Premium Times in partnership with Report for the World, which matches local newsrooms with talented emerging journalists to report on under-covered issues around the globe
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