The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said that it will work with the Lagos State Parks Management Committee for the distribution of election materials and personnel in the state.
INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner in Lagos, Olusegun Agbaje, made this known on Tuesday during the inter-agency consultative committee on election security (ICCES) meeting at the commission’s office in Lagos.
Agbaje said working with the committee led by Musiliu Akinsanya, popularly known as MC Oluomo, would not compromise the elections.
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu had set up the parks committee after banning the operations of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) and the Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN).
But presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, had reportedly warned INEC against the use of the parks committee.
Abubakar raised the alarm that MC Oluomo is a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential campaign council and has held solidarity rallies for the party.
Addressing the matter, Agbaje said the commission was only concerned about meeting up with the high volume of logistics needs for the elections.
He said the movement of electoral personnel and materials would be monitored by security agencies, party agents, and observers.
“There is a ban on the NURTW and RTEAN, we are only left with the Park Management system and NARTO (National Association of Road Transport Owners) and we are already working with NARTO,” NAN quoted Agbaje as saying.
“NARTO is not even able to meet up with 40 percent of our vehicle requirements for this election. The commission in Lagos State does not have any option than to use park management system.
“We are not dealing with Oluomo, we are dealing with the park managers. Individual people that have vehicles are those we are going to use.
“So, it will be working against the law if INEC has to continue to work with NURTW or any other group that is proscribed in the state.
“At the Central Bank of Nigeria where they are going to move our materials, there will be security agencies and party agents including the military to monitor and escort these vehicles from CBN to Local Government Areas (LGAs).
“So, I don’t see how this can compromise the election in any way. Our politicians should see the peculiarity in Lagos State; we cannot work with banned NURTW or RTEAN.
“We need over 5,000 vehicles for this election, including trucks, buses and so on to carry our people and materials for the elections. There is no other way we can go.
“We cannot go to other states and bring vehicles here, it is not allowed by law. The only way we can operate is through the park management system.
“These are the only people that can give us any type of vehicles. In fact, most of the NURTW drivers are working with the park management system.”