The Electoral Institute (TEI), has advised prospective voters in Edo state to stick strongly with the regulations concerning the new policies on conducting elections within the context of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Dr Saad Umar Idris, director general of TEI, made this known while delivery goodwill message during Training of Trainers (ToT) program for Political party agent in Benin city, the state capital, with 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and guidelines for the conduct of elections, remain in force until replaced by new regulations and guidelines or repealed in part or in its entirety by the commission.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 mitres (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 re-strategise.

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, Mr Shehu Layiwola Wahab of the Electoral and Party Monetary, EPM x-ray the dos and don’ts, what is expected from political party agent during election at the polling unites.

‘As agents your contributions to peaceful conduct of this poll is very sacrosanct and should not be compromise no matter what and who is involve. We need peaceful Electoral process and that is why we are here today and train on what is very much expected of you.

‘Political parties should ensure that their representatives to cover the 2,627 unites are voters from same areas/domain, agents should arrive polling boot ealier which will make the work easier. These are tips/attributes that makes a good party agent he added.