8th May, 2012
A retired INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner, Sylvester Egbase has advised INEC to improve on its logistics shortcomings before the July 14 governorship election in Edo.
Egbase gave the advice while speaking in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Benin.
“I am giving this advice since as it seems that INEC has not been able to overcome totally this logistic challenge,” he told NAN.
He said that candidates and parties had in previous elections cashed in on the logistics loopholes to rig elections, especially areas designated as “dangerous terrain”.
“Elections have always been found to start late in these areas because of late arrival of materials, parties and candidates have been found to use this medium to subvert electoral laws.
“In the past, the whole idea was to move these materials into a bank nearest to the polling centres; but since daredevil robbers have found a way to break into banks and make away with millions of money so what will materials be to them?,”he asked.
Egbase, who served in Ondo, Bayelsa and Ekiti states respectively, added that “another way to minimise election rigging is for the parties to ensure that their agents are faithful to their parties by not selling out.
“‘I must tell you that all parties have committees that relate with INEC and the relationship is on how to subvert the system.
‘They inject too much money into that system and attempt to buy agents of opposition parties to look the other way.
“But if these agents insist not to compromise, there is very little the polling officers can do to subvert the system.
“Which means that they should ensure that they follow the result sheets right from the field to the point of collation,” he added.