Ahead of the Edo and Ondo Forthcoming gubernatorial elections for September and October respectively, Nigerians have been advised to adhere to the guidelines of the covid -19 prevention protocols while casting their votes in their respective polling unit.
Guests on politics today a kapital FM current affairs programme gave the advice while discussing on the topic “INEC guidelines for Edo and Ondo Governorship elections”.
One of the guests, Director of political, Civic ,Ethics and values of the National orientation Agency NOA, Mrs.Ngozi Ekeoba highlighted the guidelines set by INEC to contain the possible spread of coronavirus among voters and officials.
She said machines used for voters authentication would be disinfected, the use of face mask and social distancing would also be enforced while infrared thermometer would be provided at collation and voting centers.
This is what has not been happening before for you to vote, you must come to the polling unit with your face mask.
Voting will start by 8:30/and end by 2:30.Voters on the Que or electorates are expected to maintain quarterly distance of 2m of 6 against each other that is the covid 19 protocol.
On the conducting of elections during the context of the covid 19, pandemic, in Edo and Ondo state , the assistant Director Broadcast media ,independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Mr Emeka Ugboaja,observed that the pandemic would greatly impact on the planning and deployment strategy for the conduct of elections in Edo and Ondo States respectively.
” All INEC had to do was monitor their activities and like the nomination filling it were done online.”
“Lets take for instance the ongoing Edo and Ondo states election , the commission had virtual meetings with stakeholders, political parties came virtually on-line , there were meetings and agendas were made with the media and resident electoral commission in the state.”
He stated that the commissions policy on conducting elections under the current pandemic was anchored on the guidelines issued by the presidential task force PTF and the National Centre for Disease control NCDC protocol on covid 19.
Mr Ugboaja also maintained that the commission has deployed the necessary infrastructure free fair and credible elections during the pandemic.
“The commission came up with a nine point holistic look out all aspect of the whole area must be touched.”
So that a very smooth and successful election must continuing going on in Nigeria and that is why when you looked at the document it touched on the Health issue, legal issue.
You look at the electoral operations and ICT which is the major area”.
On the issue of training, Mr ugboaja explained that the commission was would train its staff and national youth corp members on the guidelines of elections during pandemic.
He therefore said that the commission has commenced sensitization programmes on guidelines of the forthcoming elections.
” At the grassroots level we have kicked off the use of radio and television to sensitize people on election guidelines during the pandemic “.
A caller Mr simon tasked the national assembly on the need to embark on more electoral reforms in the country.
” Am yet to see the contributions of the national assembly for the betterment of our elections so that these people can be empowered “
They therefore advised political office holders to initiate policies to alleviate the sufferings of the masses.