2023: Be neutral, non partisan in convening election materials to polling units – INEC warns NURT

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By Joy Odor

Independent National Electroal Commission (INEC) has warned the National Union Transport Workers (NURTW) to be non partisan but to exhibit neutrality in discharging their obligation during convening 2023 election materials and the Ad-hoc staff.

The INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu gave the warning in Abuja at the sensitisation meeting with INEC and the leadership of NURTW on the modalities of their certification of over 100,000 vehicles to transport electoral materials and personnel in the 2023 general election by the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) on the safety of election personnel and materials on Tuesday.

Professor Yakubu told NURTW that they would also signed Oath of neutrality to demonstrate their non-partisanship in the work they do on Election Day.

According to INEC Boss, the meeting is to put finishing touches to the implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the Commission and the Union two months ago.

Professor Yakubu affirmed that time has come for NURTW to stop all excuses and provide effective logistics to ensure hitch-free logistics on Election Day.

He maintained that there should be no inter-State movement by NURTW members and also remind them that the MoU covers both forward and reverse logistics.

“This means that there is an obligation to return the personnel and materials to designated locations after the election. The issue of logistics has been a perennial problem in election administration in Nigeria.

“That is why for three electoral cycles now, INEC has collaborated with the road transport unions to address the problem. For the 2023 General Election, the Commission has included the Marine Workers’ Union of Nigeria (MWUN) for efficient maritime transportation.

“The time has come to stop all excuses and provide effective logistics to ensure hitch-free logistics on Election Day. The commission are working with the security agencies to ensure the safety of NURTW members and their vehicles during the election.

“Recent elections have shown that working in partnership with the unions and other stakeholders, we can achieve the objective. This is a patriotic duty and we should make the necessary sacrifice in the national interest.

INEC Boss therefore enjoined Nigerians not to wait for the arrival of personnel and materials at the polling units, rather they should be at polling units with their PVCs for voting .

He assure Nigerians that INEC would continue to engage every national institution for the success of the 2023 General Election.

INEC Chairman said INEC would also ensured that NURTW is represented in the Situation Room to coordinate the deployment of vehicles and the security of drivers.

Responding, the President of the NURTW, Tajudeen lbikunle Baruwa confirmed their important responsibility to ensure all election materials and the Ad-hoc staff get to their polling units on time and in good condition and return back.

He assured that NURTW would do their best to discharge their obligations for the peaceful election.

speaking on the Overview of the Revised MoU, the Chief Technical Adviser (CTA) to INEC Chairman, Prof Bolade Eyinla explained that the commission is engaging with NURTW to deliver but to also retrieve materials and personnel to designated locations.

He urged members of the NURTW not to abandon INEC personnel and materials as that would expose them to risk.

“Both parties have responsibility towards each other as the union will monitor, administer and supervise the deployment, while the MoU will also entail any other obligations that the commission deems necessary for the success of the exercise.

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