A professor of political science, Adele Jinadu, has said that it is not feasible for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to provide face masks for all the voters in the upcoming Edo and Ondo state governorship elections.
Professor Jinadu said this on Wednesday, during a Citizens Townhall On Voting Amidst COVID-19.
“My point is not that INEC cannot provide but that we also as citizens have the responsibility to assist INEC in doing its work and making the elections take place.
“It is not feasible for INEC to provide masks for every voter. But there are activism groups all over the country who can assist in doing that as part of their own contribution to the electoral process,” he said.
His comments come days after the INEC boss, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, said the commission is set to proceed with the governorship elections in Edo and Ondo states despite the COVID-19.
According to Mahmoud, although the pandemic has disrupted activities globally, the PTF has now issued guidelines on protective measures for the gradual restoration of normalcy nationwide.
On that basis, he noted that the Commission recently released its own policy on conducting elections in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a document titled Voter’s Code of Conduct for Elections during the COVID-19 Pandemic, the INEC noted that wearing of facemasks at the Polling Units and all election centers is mandatory.
It, however, noted that voters should make provisions for their own face masks.
See the full list of guidelines below.
Giving a breakdown of the expected figures, the INEC boss said: “The Edo and Ondo Governorship elections, as well as the five Senatorial and four State Assembly bye-elections, are spread across nine states of the Federation involving a cumulative number of 62 Local Government Areas (LGAs); 687 Registration Areas (RAs); 9,149 Polling Units (PUs) and 6,454,950 registered voters.
“Put in the context of our sub-region, the number of registered voters for these off-season elections is equivalent to holding General Elections in Liberia, Guinea Bissau, Sierra Leone and Cape Verde put together,”.