Ondo 2020: INEC reiterates readiness for election, clears air on partnership with NURTW
Piqued by the ongoing rumour ahead of the forthcoming gubernatorial election in Ondo State, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has refuted the claim that the commission is partnering with National Union of Road Workers (NURTW) to manipulate Saturday election.
The commission reiterated its preparedness for the election in an interview with the National commissioner and chairman of Voting Reformation and Education, Dr Festus Okoye on Friday, he said: “INEC is partnering with NURTW to convey their over 17,000 Adhoc staff who will be taking sensitive materials to about 3009 polling units across the 18 local governments of the state.
“The hiring of vehicles from the union did not start today, it has been in existence in the past elections, even in 2015 and 2019.
“The commission cannot afford to get the buses that will convey that number of ad-hoc staff to their respective polling units.
“In fact, we signed a Memorandum of Understanding(MoU) with the union and vehicle owners association, there’s no personal interest whatsoever in the dealings, it’s a collective affair,” he added.
Also, the commission asserted that it also hired boats for the staff who will be taking materials to riverine areas and motorcycles for observers alike who will be touring the polling units across the local governments of the state.
While reacting to the claim that the NURTW chairman has aligned with a candidate and might cause discrepancies in the objectivity of the election, Okoye said: “It seems impossible to convince all his men to tamper with the materials they are conveying bearing in mind that the most of the vehicle owners are political partisan and will not condone manipulation because of interests.
“Besides, our staff are the ones taking the materials to units in the local governments.”
Okoye also added that necessary stakeholders including security agencies are on standby for the smooth running of the Ondo election.
He, therefore, charged the people to conduct themselves, wear their face masks and come out en masse to vote, assuring them of a free and fair election.