Our reporter| Ahead the 2023 general elections, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Tuesday signed a revised memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), the National Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO), and the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN).
The MoU is to facilitate the successful deployment of personnel and materials for the 2023 general election, and was first signed in 2018 with NURTW and NARTO.
INEC chairman, Mahmood Yakubu while speaking at the signing ceremony, explained that the electoral umpire incorporated MWUN in the MoU to solve issues associated with the deployment and retrieval of personnel and materials in riverine areas.
According to him, the commission expects the leadership of the unions to effectively supervise their members in the various chapters and branches for the full implementation of the MoU.
“In doing so, you will be required to work very closely with our resident electoral commissioners and collaborate with the federal regulatory and safety agencies to ensure that the objectives of the MoU are fully realised in terms of required road/seaworthiness and safety standards of your vehicles and boats,” he said.
“Furthermore, the knowledge of your members of the routes and topography in various parts of the country is especially important for ease of movement and a timeous and safe delivery of personnel and materials, especially to areas with difficult terrain.”
The INEC boss further stated that security agencies will be available to escort all vehicles and boats, and will also ensure the safety and protection of all election personnel and materials.
“As usual, we shall track the movement of all vehicles and boats electronically and in real-time to ensure that election personnel and materials are not hijacked or diverted,” he said.
“Learning from the experience of the past, I would like to appeal to all the Unions and service providers to abide by the spirit and letter of the MoU and the contract agreements respectively. They must see their role as a national call to duty by ensuring that there is no failure on their part, especially on the eve of elections when it is too late for the commission to make alternative arrangements.
“The unions should keep an eye on your members to ensure that when they take personnel and materials to designated locations, they also bring them back at the end of the elections. Your contract is for both forward and reverse logistics.”