By Abdallah el-Kurebe, Editor
The Chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Mahmoud Yakubu on Friday addressed the Commanding Officers of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) on the need for collaboration in the build up for the 2019 general elections.
Speaking as a guest speaker at the FRSC Commanding Officers’ Strategy Session held at the FRSC National Headquarters Abuja, Yakubu explained the safety and security challenges of the elections.
A statement by the FRSC spokesman, Bisi Kazeem quoted INEC chairman as saying, “Security agencies must collaborate with INEC in order to secure lives and property of the voters and voting materials to ensure the credibility of the process,”
He commended the FRSC for its consistent support to the Commission, which led to the successes recorded in the past elections.
Yakubu assured that the commission had put all necessary measures in place to deliver a free, fair and credible election in the coming general elections, noting that all hands must remain on the deck to sustain people’s trust and confidence in the Commission.
He enumerated the measures so far taken by the Commission to ensure the credibility of the electoral process.
“These include authentication of the numbers of the registered voters and political parties, the collation of the total numbers of constituencies nationwide, collation of the positions being contested for at the federal and state levels and the challenges which court cases poses to the Corps, but which are being tackled head-on as well as prompt release of the election timetable since January last year,” the statement read.
The Chairman further assured the nation that INEC was very much ready for the forthcoming elections expected to commence on 16 February, 2019 with the Presidential and National Assembly positions, culminating in gubernatorial and State Houses of Assembly elections in March which would be followed by Area Councils elections in the case of FCT.
He tasked the FRSC “to assist the Commission in specific areas of security including the screening of the selected drivers that would drive the vehicles to convey the election materials as well as inspection of the vehicles; deployment of the FRSC patrol teams on the election day to guide against violation of restriction order on movement people and vehicles and providing easy access to vehicles conveying INEC materials, liaising with the Police and other law enforcement agencies for orderly and secured electoral process.”
Others were appeal to the Corps for the utilisation of its call centre for prompt report of distress messages on election day as well as ensuring free movement of traffic for voters and passage of electoral materials.
In his remarks, the Corps Marshal of the FRSC, Dr Boboye Oyeyemi commended the INEC Chairman for taking time to address the Commanding Officers and share with them the Commission’s expectations of their roles in the forthcoming general elections.
He assured the Commission that like before, the FRSC would live up to expectations by playing its own roles in the elections most diligently.
He further stressed that towards ensuring active participation of the FRSC personnel in the nation’s electoral system, the participating staff have been properly enlightened and trained at the various levels, while collaboration with the Nigeria Police and office of the National Security adviser for necessary synergy is ongoing.
Oyeyemi added that FRSC as a non partisan organisation would continue to work closely with relevant security agencies on how to discharge its responsibilities through provision of safe and secured environment for voting.
He assured that FRSC will continue to work with INEC at all levels to provide necessary enlightenment on the expectations of their roles.
The Corps Marshal commended the Commanding Officers on the successes recorded by the FRSC during last year’s special patrol, which recorded minimal cases of casualties, and called on them to sustain the tempo of activities in the new year.
He outlined a number of areas where the Corps would emphasise in its operational strategies for the new year to include campaigns again overloading, speeding and violation against use of speed limiting devices and thanked the President, Comnader-In-Chief of the Armed Forces for his consistent support for the Corps.
The commanding Officers Strategy Session is a platform, which the Corps Marshal, members of his Management team and Commanding Officers use to set the FRSC strategic goals for the new year and take time within the year to review in order to time to determine its successes and failures with a view to modifying them towards achieving the Corps’ set goals.