By Chimezie Godfrey
CLEEN Foundation has called for sustained improvement in the distribution of election materials in polling units in subsequent elections.
The Executive Director of the Foundation, Dr Benson Olugbuo disclosed this in a statement on Tuesday.
Olugbuo noted that despite improvement in the conduct of the Edo State governorship election by INEC and security agencies, several gaps were noticed that could undermine the electoral process.
He stressed that vote trading, technical issues and late arrival of electoral materials, were among the gaps identified during the recent election in Edo.
“CLEEN Foundation recommends the following to deepen the democratic process and improve election security management in Nigeria as we plan towards Ondo governorship elections in October 2020.
“Should ensure sustained improvement in the distribution of election materials in polling units in subsequent elections to enable early commencement of polls
“There is a need to sustain the awareness creation and voter’s education amongst communities which INEC carried out in Edo State.
“Should comply with Covid-19 protocols during the elections and ensure adequate provisions of temperature thermometer, hand sanitisers and other non-pharmaceutical requirements.
“Should ensure training and retraining of electoral officers to enable them to meet with the changing needs of the electorate in Nigeria,” he stated.
Olugbuo stressed that prosecution of electoral offenders remains a key issue INEC should carry out to reduce the tendency by political thugs to disrupt elections.
He urged security agencies to ensure that those arrested for electoral violence should be properly investigated and handed over to INEC for diligent prosecution, adding that this will serve as a deterrent to others.
“There is a need for the investigation and sanction of security personnel who disrupted the election in some areas in the state in collaboration with desperate politicians.
“Impartiality and neutrality of security personnel as reports of security personnel displaying partisanship was prominent in some polling units.
“There is a need for training and retraining of security personnel deployed for election duty on the Covid-19 guidelines produced by the Nigeria Police Force,” he stated.
Olugbuo further urged politicians to maintain peace, be magnanimous in victory and work with all Edo citizens including those in the opposition parties to make the state a better place.