The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it has not entered into a contract with the National Union of Road Transport Workers in Lagos State or other transport unions to convey materials for them on Election Day.
There have been reports that the INEC in Lagos State has contracted the Lagos State Parks Management Committee, led by Musiliu Akinsanya, popularly known as MC Oluomo, to convey election materials for the commission.
Speaking on Channels Television’s The 2023 Verdict programme on Thursday, however, the INEC National Commissioner and Chairman of Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, said the electoral umpire does not have any contract with the body or any other transport unions.
“For the 2023 election, this commission is going to hire at least 138,000 vehicles and we have hired vehicles in the past. This commission is going to hire at least 4,000 boats; we have hired boats in the past, and this commission will hire at least 88,000 motorcycles.
“Now the commission enters into individual contracts with the vehicle owners; we don’t enter into any form of contract with the union. What we have with the National Union of Road Transport Workers and with the National Association of Road Transport Owners and the Marine Union is what we call a Memorandum of Understanding.
“We don’t enter into a contract with them. So, the issue of the name of an individual being mentioned to the effect that the individual is going to provide all the vehicle that the commission needs or for the purposes of this election is just mischievous,” Okoye said.
He said that INEC’s MoU with the transport unions is for accountability in case a driver absconds or does not turn up for duty.
Okoye said the commission deals with each state according to their peculiarity, adding that the Supervising National commissioner in Lagos State has assured of a hitch-free arrangement.
The INEC National Commissioner also said that the electoral umpire and other observers are satisfied with the performance of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) during the mock accreditation exercise recently conducted in 436 polling units.
According to Okoye, the BVAS can capture the fingerprints of registered voters or their facials. He said Nigerians who participated in the exercise expressed satisfaction with it and commended the Commission for the advancement.