By Emmanuel Olonoruha
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), said it would work out modalities for stakeholders engagement in Edo and Ondo.
The commission plans to resume engagements with political parties, civil society groups and other stakeholders in relation to the Edo and Ondo Governorship elections.
The commission disclosed this in a statement issued by Mr Festus Okoye, INEC National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, in Abuja on Thursday.
Okoye said the commission met on Thursday and deliberated on the step-by-step protocol for its resumption of activities and operations.
He said that it deliberated on preparations for the conduct of the two states governorship elections and other pending senatorial and state assembly bye elections.
“The commission will work out modalities for the ramping up of activities in two of the states where it has governorship elections (Edo and Ondo).”
INEC said it will liaise with security agencies and health authorities on resumption of work in the two states as soon as possible.
“The commission will resume engagement with political parties, civil society groups and organisations, the media and other stakeholders in relation to the Edo and Ondo governorship elections.
“The modalities for these engagements will be worked out and considered at its next meeting on May 14, 2020.” he said.
The commission according to Okoye, however, directed directors and other designated staff of the various departments to resume work at the INEC National Headquarters on Wednesday May 13.
He stated that guidelines would be issued for the phase of resumption for the staff members.
He noted that only staff below 58 years of age with no serious underlying health issues would resume.
He said that pregnant women, nursing mothers and all other staff with underlying health conditions should remain at home for the time being.
He said the commission resolved to carry out comprehensive decontamination of its national headquarters, annex at Blantyre Street, the Electoral Institute and its Area 10 office housing its staff clinic.
Okoye said parts of the commission’s resolution at the meeting was “to follow the Federal Government Guidelines on resumption protocols and procedure”.
They include providing infrared thermometers, soap and water at entrances and installing hand sanitiser dispensers at strategic points in the commission.
Others are: “to train its staff, particularly the cleaners and office assistants on cleaning protocols and strict compliance with federal government guidelines as well as its own specific protocols for resumption.
“To issue comprehensive guidelines for the first phase of its resumption in compliance with the directives of the federal government and health authorities.
“These guidelines will be posted on its notice boards and uploaded on the website of the commission on Monday May 11.
“Directors and other designated Staff of the various departments will resume at the national headquarters on Wednesday May 13, after the decontamination of the premises and provision of necessary amenities.