The Independent National Electoral Commission has signed Memorandum of Understanding with National Union of Road Transport Workers(NURTW), National Association of Road Transport Owners(NARTO) and Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria to ensure hitch-free logistics in 2023 electoral operations.
The Chairman Independent National Electoral Commission, Professor Mahmood Yakubu while speaking at the signing ceremony in Abuja said the MoU was designed to facilitate the successful development of personnel and materials for the 2023 General Election and other elections.
He urged the leadership of the transport unions to ensure that their members who would be deployed in the movement of sensitive items and men of the commission during and after the 2023 general elections are insulated from partisan politics.
According to Yakubu, the signing of a new MoU with the road and Marine transport union is a demonstration of the determination to implement key recommendations of the review exercise of the MoU signed in 2019, in order to enhance logistics in the nation’s electoral operations.
The INEC Chairman noted that in order to ensure that personnel and materials will be at the polling units on Election Day awaiting the arrival of voters rather than the other way round, the commission requires large number of vehicles, including motorcycles, tricycles, boats and canoes in the riverine areas which cannot be met from its internal resources.
He explained that the 2023 General Election will require over 100,000 vehicles and about 4,200 boats, 8,809 electoral wards and 176,846 polling units across country to ensure a pleasant voting experience.
While appealing to the Union Leaders to abide strictly to terms of agreement and avoid partisan politics, the INEC chairman said all the vehicles and boats shall be tracked electronically to ensure that election personnel and materials are not hijacked or diverted.
Yakubu further said that the security agencies shall not only be available to escort vehicles and boats to locations but also ensure the safety of all election personnel and materials.
On her part, the Country Director of ActionAid, Ene Obi insisted that transport unions have a critical role in a free, fair and credible elections.
Speaking on behalf of The Road Transport workers, the President of Nigerian Union of Road Transport Workers, Tajudeen Baruwa assured Nigerians that the Union will contribute its quota to the success of 2023 general election through logistics delivery.