Bamigbola Gbolagunte, Akure
An election monitoring group, Yiaga Africa, has raised concerns over the use of vehicles belonging to members of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) for the conduct of the Saturday’s governorship election in Ondo State.
The group noted that many members of the NURTW in the State are already partisan with an interest in a particular political party, which it said can affect the outcome of the forthcoming election.
Addressing a press conference in Akure, a co chairman of the group, Dr Aisha Abdullahi, observed that the activities of NURTW members during the election will go a long way at determining the success of the exercise.
She urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to collaborate with the security authorities, particularly the police, to arrest and prosecute any NURTW member who violates the contractual agreement between INEC and the transport union.
She further enjoined the INEC to ensure prompt payment of the allowances of all its ad hoc staff used for the election.
She urged the electoral Commission to show utmost professionalism in election administration and secure deployment of its staff, materials and other resources needed for the election to ensure early commencement of polls.
While calling on security agents to display professionalism during the election exercise, Dr Abdullahi called on the security agents to provide adequate security for all voters, especially women and persons with disabilities.
‘In ensuring adequate security for the election, security agencies should manage their operation with the utmost levels of neutrality and professionalism. Respect for the law and citizens constitutional and civic rights should be maintained without excessive use of force,’ Abdullahi stated.
‘Security agencies should endeavour to address early warning signs of electoral violence and neutralise security threats in a professional manner to avoid escalation or spill over on election day,’ she added.
She called on all the political parties participating in the election and their candidates to reject the practice of buying and selling of votes, saying that ‘this grossly undermines the democratic process. Political parties should compete based on ideas and ability to improve the lives of citizens not by buying votes.’