2023 Post-Election Review: INEC Meets Electoral Officers, Transportation Unions

INEC meets electoral officers, transportation unions to review logistics deployment of the 2023 general elections.

19th July 2023 01:34 PM

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Wednesday met with its Electoral Officers (EOs) and transport unions to review logistics deployment and other critical issues regarding the conduct of the 2023 general elections.

The INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, in his remarks at the opening of the meeting with EOs and leaders of transport unions in Abuja, described logistics deployment as a key component of every election.

Yakubu said that the commission considered it appropriate to interface with its field officers and transport service providers to review logistic arrangements during the 2023 general poll.

The transport unions, according to him, include the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), the National Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO), and the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN).

“There is no doubt that the success of any election primarily depends on the ability to deploy personnel and materials to various locations.

“In Nigeria, this involves the biggest logistic deployment the nation periodically undertakes across vast terrains and often difficult topography.

“This has been a perennial challenge over time but is now compounded by issues of infrastructure and insecurity.

“However, the Commission has to deploy personnel and materials not only for Election Day activities but electoral activities in general covering the period before, during and after the elections.

“Many of these activities such as the Continuous Registration of Voters (CVR), monitoring of party primaries for the nomination of candidates for the election.

“The procurement and deployment of sensitive and non-sensitive materials must be accomplished ahead of the election otherwise critical election day processes will be impossible,” Yakubu said.

He said that the meeting would provide an opportunity to interact on 10 critical areas highlighted for discussion including the general state of preparedness for the general election; voters registration process and the associated issues, clean-up of voter register, and Permanent Voter Cards collection.

Others, he noted, included recruitment, training, deployment, and remuneration of ad hoc staff; matters arising from the implementation of the expansion of voter access to Polling Units (PUs); as well as receipt and deployment of election materials.

Technology deployed for elections; election security; election day processes; forward and reverse logistics and movement of personnel and retrieval of field assets; inventory of election materials; and physical conditions of storage and other immovable facilities.

Yakubu said that in line with INEC’s policy, a comprehensive report would be prepared, after the review engagements.

He urged the EOs and the union leaders to lend their wealth of experience to the discussions in order to identify areas of strengths and weaknesses.

He said this was important for immediate improvement in elections, especially the forthcoming governorship elections in Bayelsa, Imo, and Kogi States scheduled for Nov. 11.

He assured Nigerians that in the next two weeks, INEC would hold more engagements with internal and external stakeholders, including political parties, Civil Society Organisations, the Media, and Security agencies.

The Chairman, Planning, Monitoring and Strategic Committee (PMSC) Prof. Rhoda Gumus said the decision to organise the meeting became imperative after the successful conduct of the 2023 general elections.

Gumus said that the meeting would undertake a comprehensive post-election review to learn critical lessons for future elections.

According to her, the meeting would attend to the questions of “how far and how well” INEC, the EOs and transportat unions performed in their respective duties during the elections.

“As field workers, we expect to hear from you about the challenges encountered and how you resolved them in the field.

“Your key recommendations of this review exercise will enhance deployment and reverse logistics in our electoral operations,” she said.