By Lateef Ibrahim with agency report
The Electoral Institute (TEI) has advised prospective voters in Edo State to stick strongly with the regulations on conducting elections within the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Saad Umar Idris, Director-General of TEI, made this known while delivering a goodwill message during Training of Trainers (ToT) program for political parties’ agents in Benin City, the state capital, with the views to mitigating electoral violence in Nigeria.
He said the commission had issued the first supplementary to the regulations and guidelines for the conduct of elections issued by the commission on 12th January 2019.
According to him, “these regulations and guidelines for the conduct of elections remain in force until replaced by new regulations and guidelines or repealed in part or in its entirety by the commission. Social distancing of 2 metres (6 feet’s shall be maintained by all persons.)
“Indeed, election is coming up at a period Nigeria is battling with the COVID-19 Pandemic which took the whole world by storm and has affected the manner, methods and strategies in which businesses, social activities and all other people/public-oriented activities are conducted.
“The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) just like many other Election Management Bodies (EMBs) all over the world has had to restrategise.
“The commission’s policy on conducting elections under a pandemic or other emergency health hazards include the wearing of face mask, which is made mandatory at all election locations.
“An improvised face mask using a handkerchief, scarf or other such materials is acceptable. We will also not accept mask branded with the insignia or unique identification of a political party/candidate or indicating the person’s voting preference.”
Speaking on the legal framework for party agents, Shehu Layiwola Wahab of the Electoral and Party Monetary (EPM) x-rayed the dos and don’ts, and what are expected from political parties’ agents during the election.
“As agents, your contributions to peaceful conduct of this poll is very sacrosanct and should not be compromised no matter what and who is involved. We need peaceful electoral process and that is why we are here today.”