Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders (CACOL) has warned the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Oyo State against using buses belonging to the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) in the state to dispatch election officers and materials during the forthcoming general elections.
This came on the heels of a statement by the Director-General of the Ladoja Campaign Organisation, Adeolu Adeleke, that INEC had concluded arrangements with the NURTW to make use of buses belonging to its members to convey electoral officers to different polling units in the state during elections.
But the Resident Electoral Commissioner in the state, Rufus Akeju, said that the arrangement was made at the national level with strong legal backing that was meant to eradicate incidences of moving electoral materials to polling units late.
In his reaction, the Executive Chairman of the Coalition, Comrade Debo Adeniran, averred that the alliance between the INEC and a highly politicized group like the NURTW, could cast aspersions on the result of the elections.
He said, “Signing agreement with a union that is so highly-politicized may mar the entire process and call to question the credibility of the elections. Such arrangement at the end of the day, may not guarantee fairness. INEC is already aware that some buses owners are partisan, as claimed by the REC, so there is no assurance that the Oyo State Chapter of the NURTW does not have allegiance with some politicians in the state. Going ahead with this agreement will adversely affect the credibility of the elections.
“In essence, INEC should desist from its plan to use the NURTW buses. Even if no problem comes up in the course of transporting the materials and the personnels, INEC may not be able to defend itself and the credibility of the elections. Therefore, it would be wise for the body to come up with an alternative plan to avoid any bickering and to make sure the election is free, fair and credible. If INEC should go ahead with its plan, they will be asking for more trouble than they bargained for.”
Comrade Adeniran, however urged INEC to come up with alternative plan for the movement of its personnel and election materials.
“INEC should explore other options than the NURTW. Instead of engaging the NURTW, electoral officers in each local government council could be given opportunity to hire buses without any condition. Also, there should be government agencies or private companies that such a contract could be awarded to. We don’t expect that such a contract could only be executed by the NURTW. INEC should look beyond the NURTW to get buses to convey their materials and people”, Adeniran stated.