By Josephine Oguntoyinbo
Ahead of the forthcoming local government elections in Ondo State, the state Independent Electoral Commission (ODIEC) will tomorrow commence training of over 6,000 adhoc staff engaged for the election.
ODIEC also said that it has distributed non sensitive election materials to its offices across the 18 local government areas of the state ahead of the August 22 local government poll.
The commission chairman, Prof. Yomi Dinakin while speaking on the preparation being put in place by the commission for the election, explained that all the adhoc staff engaged by the commission will be adequately trained for effective conduct of the election.
Dinakin declared that the non sensitive election materials distributed early was intended to ensure a smooth conduct, devoid of any delay ,saying that the commission is not leaving any stone unturned at ensuring a credible election.
He said all the participating political parties have also been counselled on the guidelines for the election and promised to cooperate with the commission.
“The adhoc staff engaged for the conduct of the election will be given adequate training for smooth conduct of the exercise, including training on all precautionary measures,” he disclosed
According to him, 10 political parties, including the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC in the state are participating in the election.
Speaking in a telephone interview with The Hope, the Commissioner in charge of Media and Publicity in ODIEC, Mr Rotimi Olorunfemi affirmed that the commission has done enough preparation towards the election way back in January before the COVID-19 pandemic.
Olorunfemi said that it was only the training of adhoc staff that was to be done before the pandemic.
“Those who are to train the main adhoc staff who are the end users are local government returning officers, they will be deployed for the training of other levels of adhoc staff on Monday and Tuesday.
“Over 6,000 adhoc staff will participate in the elections, if you calculate it, we have over 3,000 polling units in the state and we are deploying not less than two adhoc staff to each unit, some three, depending on its size. And we will still deploy some to collation centres,” he said.
Asked why the 13 political parties that indicated interest in the election were reduced to ten, he disclosed that at the close of nomination, only 10 of them returned candidates to the commission.” Therefore, 10 political parties will be participating at councilorship and chairmanship levels.
“We are putting in place all measures in compliance with the guidelines to ensure hitch free and safe election, crowd would be well managed. We have informed political parties that there won’t be political rallies. All protocols on COVID-19 will be adhered to,” he stressed.
To this end, he enjoined the general public to cooperate with ODIEC in conducting credible, free ,fair and safe election ,maintaining that they should come out enmass to vote for candidates of their choice and comply with the laid down rules.