INEC and lo­gis­tics for Kogi, Bayelsa elec­tions

Daily Trust - - OPINION -

The forth­com­ing Kogi and Bayelsa gov­er­nor­ship elec­tions will be a lit­mus test for Act­ing Chair­per­son of the In­de­pen­dent Na­tional Elec­toral Com­mis­sion, (INEC), Ha­jiya Amina Bala Zakari, es­pe­cially in the area of lo­gis­tics and free and fair con­duct of the elec­tions.

The two states’ gov­er­nor­ship elec­tions are sched­uled for Novem­ber 21 and De­cem­ber 5 2015, re­spec­tively. Thus, the two elec­tions will serve as Ha­jiya Amina’s first im­pres­sion to Nige­ri­ans.

Most observers are sup­port­ive and have con­fi­dence that Ha­jiya Zakari will de­liver ac­cord­ing to the ex­pec­ta­tion of most Nige­ri­ans, be­cause amidst the up­roar over her ap­point­ment, she did not get dis­tracted, rather promptly re­leased the timetable for the con­duct of the two gov­er­nor­ship elec­tions within the month she came to of­fice and ap­plied all laid down reg­u­la­tion with­out fear or favour.

The com­mis­sion then com­menced, within rea­son­able time, the Con­tin­u­ous Voter Reg­is­tra­tion (CVR) ex­er­cises in the two states and com­pleted with lit­tle or no com­plaints. This is an im­prove­ment against what typ­i­fied the process in the run up to the gen­eral elec­tions re­cently.

INEC’s readi­ness and com­mit­ment has led to po­lit­i­cal par­ties or­ga­niz­ing smooth gov­er­nor­ship pri­maries that re­sulted in the emer­gence of gov­er­nor­ship can­di­dates. This shows that the elec­tion will be smooth, free and fair; how­ever, INEC big­gest chal­lenge will be lo­gis­tics, which has been a peren­nial prob­lem for the com­mis­sion dur­ing elec­tions.

In an ef­fort to over­come lo­gis­tics prob­lem, INEC had dur­ing Jega’s reign en­tered into agree­ment with the Na­tional Union of Road Trans­port Work­ers (NURTW) to help in trans­port­ing elec­tions ma­te­ri­als to the nooks and cran­nies of the coun­try. Yet, dur­ing the 2015 pres­i­den­tial and Na­tional Assem­bly elec­tions, the ob­nox­ious late ar­rival and late com­mence­ment of the polls was re­ported in some states.

With such de­vel­op­ment- the late ar­rival of elec­tion ma­te­rial due to the claim by some driv­ers that the fail­ure to get their first part of their pay­ment from the com­mis­sion was re­spon­si­ble, INEC act­ing chair­per­son should not take the is­sue of lo­gis­tics for granted in the up­com­ing polls as well as be very proac­tive, be­cause the Kogi and bayelsa elec­tions will de­ter­mine how Nige­ri­ans as well as the world will rate her.

There is the need for the chair­per­son to ap­ply an Op­er­a­tion Re­search tech­nique- Sys­tem think­ing, to the lo­gis­tics is­sues. This tech­niques will as­sist in har­ness­ing and im­prov­ing the ef­fi­ciency of NURTW mem­bers and INEC ad hoc staff, in the area of im­prove­ment of the ar­rival of sen­si­tive ma­te­ri­als to RACs a day be­fore the polls.

Zakari will cer­tainly dis­play her ver­sa­til­ity and sci­en­tist think­ing in con­duct­ing the Kogi and Bayelsa elec­tions, es­pe­cially in the area of timely ar­rival of sen­si­tive ma­te­rial, con­ducts of INEC’s per­ma­nent and ad­hoc staff and or­ga­ni­za­tion. The great­est ad­van­tage Ha­jiya Zakari has is, she has been part of INEC’s suc­cess sto­ries.

Sham­sud­deen Sani Hus­saini wrote from Abuja.


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