The pro-democracy group, Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD), has called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) not to disappoint the people of Ondo in Saturday’s governorship election in the state.
Addressing reporters at a briefing in Akure on Thursday, CDD Director, Idayat Hassan, believes this will enable the electoral umpire to reciprocate the confidence the electorate has in it as they go to the poll.
She noted that INEC has yet to be subjected to attacks by politicians and political parties, contrary to the trend in previous elections it conducted in other states.
Hassan explained that CDD since INEC has not had to respond to such vicious attacks, it implied stakeholders have confidence in the exercise the commission was conducting.
“One interesting trend observed by CDD in the Ondo State governorship election is the absence of or reduced level of attacks on the electoral umpire, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC),” she said.
She added, “Compared to governorship elections in other states, INEC has been largely spared of denunciations and attacks, which are clearly aimed at undermining the idea of the commission’s impartiality.
“Politicians normally resort to the strategy of denouncing INEC so that if they lose the election, they can quickly blame INEC’s alleged compromise as the reason for their loss.”
The CDD boss stressed the importance of INEC to uphold the electorate by ensuring it does not disappoint in the area of logistics and result collation.
According to her, the electoral body cannot afford to fritter away the level of goodwill and ensure materials arrive at their respective polling units on time.
A Problem For INEC?
Hassan also asked INEC to consider the nature of the terrain in some parts of the state, especially the riverine and mountainous nature of some local government areas.
She advised the commission to strategically factor such areas in its deployment plans to prevent the late arrival of materials.
“These factors will have to be considered in the aspect of reverse logistics, especially with respect to the collation of results.
“Given the terrain difficulty in those LGAs, CDD calls on INEC to ensure its results viewing portal is capable of documenting results, especially from areas, which will pose a terrain problem,” the CDD boss stated.
She decried that majority of transport workers, including members of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) and the motorcyclists’ associations were partisan.
“Since they would be involved in the movement of sensitive materials on Election Day, Hassan advised INEC to find ways to mitigate the effect of the largely partisan disposition of the transport workers.
“The partisan posture of these unions could pose challenges, which may create credibility and logistics problems for the entire process. Incidentally, the NURTW is the body INEC relies on for the transportation of electoral materials.
“This may create a problem for INEC in the area of getting materials to all voting areas in the state. CDD calls on INEC to prepare backup plans just in case there is a system failure in its logistics deployment as a result of the partisan disposition of the transport union,” she further added.