23 July 2020 by Georgina Humphrey
Nigerians have been advised to adhere to safety guidelines on covid -19 while casting their votes in the forthcoming elections in Ondo and Edo States.
Guests on politics today, a kapital FM current affairs programme gave the advice while discussing 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 who highlighted the guidelines set by INEC to contain the spread of coronavirus said machines used for voters authentication would be disinfected, the use of face mask and social distancing enforced while infrared thermometers would be provided at collation and voting
“Voters must wear face mask.
This is what has not been happening before but for you to vote, you must come to the polling unit with your face mask the electorates are also expected to maintain a distance of 2m between each other, that is the covid 19 protocol” She stressed.
On preparations for conduct of the elections The assistant Director Broadcast Media ,Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Mr Emeka Ugboaja,observed that the pandemic would greatly affect planning and strategies for the elections.
” All INEC had to do was monitor their activities , like the nomination filling, were done online.
The commission also had virtual meetings with stakeholders, political parties, the media and resident electoral commission in the state.” He stressed.
According to him the commission”s policy on conducting elections under the current pandemic is anchored on the guidelines issued by the presidential task force PTF and the National Centre for Disease Control NCDC.
Mr, Ugboaja maintained that the commission had deployed the necessary infrastructure for the conduct of free ,fair and credible elections during the pandemic.
On the issue of training, Mr ugboaja explained that the commission would train its staff and National Youth Corp members on the guidelines of elections during the pandemic.
He therefore said that the commission had commenced sensitization programmes on guidelines of the forthcoming elections.
” At the grassroot level we have kicked off the use of radio and television to sensitize people on election guidelines during the pandemic “Mr
Ugboaja further stressed.
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 Naational Assembly for the betterment of our elections so that the people can be empowered “Mr.Simon Noted.
He therefore advised political office holders to initiate programs to alleviate the sufferings of the masses.