The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it requires 2,652 vehicles of different types for movement of materials and officials for the 2019 general elections in Ebonyi.
Prof. Godswill Obioma, INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Ebonyi made the disclosure at a meeting between the commission and state officials of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) in Abakaliki on Wednesday.
Obioma said that effective and timely movement of election officials and materials to designated polling units and voting points was critical for credible, smooth and successful conduct of election.
He explained that the vehicles would be deployed to the 2, 293 polling units and voting points across the 13 local government areas of the state and INEC state Headquarters.
According to him, the Transport Strategy Plan (TSP) is an innovation by the state Headquarters of the commission to achieve prompt and unhindered transport arrangement for the 2019 general elections in Ebonyi.
The REC said it would send the final draft of the transport strategy compiled by the two bodies to the INEC headquarters for approval.
“The draft strategy plan provides for the deployment of 2, 652 vehicles of different types for the elections in Ebonyi.
“1, 326 vehicles will be deployed for the Presidential and National Assembly elections in February 16, 2019 while another 1,326 vehicles will be required for governorship and state Houses of Assembly elections making a total of 2, 652 vehicles.
According to the arrangement, Abakaliki will be allocated 131 vehicles, Afikpo North, 92, Afikpo South, 76, Ebonyi 90, Ezza North 99, Ezza South 89 and Ikwo 135.
Others are Ishielu, Ivo, Izzi, Ohaozara, Ohaukwu and Onitcha local government areas will receive 105, 60, 142,78, 125, and 98 vehicles respectively while INEC state Headquarters will have six haulage vehicles.
“The transport strategy plan is a deliberate effort and knowledge driven initiative by INEC and NURTW in Ebonyi to strategize and produce a concrete transport arrangement for 2019 general elections.
“The initiative will forestall logistics failure in the state in the short run and develop a framework for the smooth conduct of future elections in the long run.
“The place of transport logistics in the electoral process obviously is central and cardinal in spite of the interplay of other critical intervening variables.
“The relevant provisions of the strategy plan are the determination of total number of vehicles requirements local government by local government strictly based on actual needs assessment.
“It also provides for 10 per cent projected increase for the emergency responses alongside revised logistics of both men and materials required for the elections.
“The plan also prescribed criteria for admitting quality and sound vehicles to be used for 2019, a proposal for a cost free training of drivers on ethical standard and code of conduct among other key issues,” he said.
The chairman of the state chapter of NURTW, Chief Oko Ewah led officials of the transport union to the meeting.