The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Lagos State has said it is working with park managers in the state for smooth logistics during the 2023 general election.
It clarified that it is not with the former chairman of the defunct National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) in Lagos, Musiliu Akinsanya, popularly known as MC Oluomo.
The commission was reacting to a letter allegedly written to it by the ex-NURTW boss.
In the letter, MC Oluomo was said to have requested from the Lagos INEC the responsibility of distributing electoral materials on election day across the state, according to a report by Nigerian Tribune.
Reacting to the letter, the Lagos State Resident Electoral Commissioner, Olusegun Agbaje, said the commission was more concerned with issues of motor parks administration in the state for the effective delivery of its election duties and not MC Oluomo.
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He said, “On the issue of MC Oluomo, the commission is not concerned with Oluomo. We are concerned with the issue of motor park administration in Lagos.
“For the past two years, the Lagos State government has banned the operations of the NURTW and RTEAN in the state. They had problems and the state government banned them.
“So we are left with Lagos State Park and Garages and the National Association of Road Transport Owners.”
The REC said that INEC in Lagos was already working with Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO), adding that NARTO “is not able to meet up with the 40 per cent needs of the commission for this election.”
He said this was why the commission was engaging the Parks and Garages Management system in the state.
“We are not dealing with MC Oluomo,” Agbaje said, “we are dealing with park managers. They are individual persons that have vehicles that we are going to use for the elections.
“The law has already banned the NURTW from operating in the state so we cannot violate the law by patronising them.
“It will be we working against the law if we have to be working with the banned associations. So it cannot work.”
Reiterating INEC’s resolve to fairness and level-playing field during the election, Agbaje reminded electorate that there would be security presence as well as party agents who would escort election materials to various local government areas.
“So, I don’t see how this can compromise the election. The party agents will be there to witness the distribution of the materials.
“They will be on the entourage to see that there is no stoppage on the way until they get to local government where they are going to offload the materials.
“I don’t see how this will compromise the election in any way. I just want the politicians to see the peculiarity in Lagos state,” he said.
He further stated that the commission would need “over 5000 vehicles for this election, including trucks and buses to carry our staff and materials for the elections. There is no other way to go about it.
“We cannot go to another state to bring vehicles because it is not allowed by law.
“We can’t work against the law. In fact, most of the members of the NURTW are already working with the Lagos State Parks and Garages Management.”