Coronavirus: Parties urge ODIEC on safety measures
By Jubril Bada
Ahead of the April 18 local government elections in Ondo State, political parties in the state have urged the State Independent Electoral Commission, SIEC, to device means and precautionary measures to ensure the scheduled elections are held as planned.
The advice came following the report of suspected case of dreadful and deadly diseases, corona virus in the state.
In separate interviews with The Hope, the All Progressives Congress, APC and the Social Democratic Party, SDP, were the political parties spoke on the development.
Reacting to the advice, the Commissioner in charge of Media and Publicity of SIEC, Mr. Rotimi Olorunfemi, said the commission would disclose its decision on the development to journalists this week.
It would be recalled that a political group called on the electoral body to postpone the election due to the spread of the diseases, saying that the postponement would prevent the possible transmission of the diseases during the poll.
The State Director, Media and Publicity of the APC, Mr. Steve Otaloro called on the commission to rise to its responsibility and ensure the election is held next month and not suspend the election like it did in 2018.
He said ODIEC has no excuse to suspend the election, noting that the issue of corona virus has not ravaged any place in the state that could lead to the suspension of the election.
His words ” Whoever is raising his voice that the election should be postponed or suspended is not helping ODIEC. It will amount to second time the commission is doing such a thing.
“ODIEC reputation will be at stake if the next month election is postponed or suspended because nobody will believe it again”
He, however, expressed the readiness of the party as well other political parties for the election.
On his part, the State Chairman of the SDP, Chief Korede Duyile, said precautionary measures must be taken ahead of the election.
He posited that the decision to be taken by the SIEC depends on the assessment of the situation by the commission, noting that improvement on the diseases could be recorded before the next month election.
According to him ” No one knowns what may happen in the next few days but we must take precautionary measures.
“If the election is postponed for two weeks so be it because the youth corps camp, schools, churches , mosques have been closed as a result of the diseases”
Duyile who added that the first suspended local government election in 2018 was unexpected and irrational, stressing that it would be rational if the next month poll is eventually postponed as a measure to curtail the diseases.