“We Have No Contract With NURTW, NARTO”

The National Commissioner for Information and Voter Education of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Festus Okoye, has said that the commission has no contract with the Nigeria Union of Road Transport Workers or the National Association of Road Transport Owners.

Okoye made this known when he was interviewed on Channels Television’s ‘The 2023 Verdict’ on Thursday.

Reactions had trailed reports that the commission had reached an agreement with the faction of the National Union of Road Transport Workers, led by Musiliu Akinsanya, popularly known as MC Oluomo, to which Okoye responded that the commission only had a memorandum of understanding with the individual drivers, and not the union.

READ ALSO: Woman In Viral Video Selling PVCs In Enugu, Accomplice Charged To Court

“For the 2023 general election, this commission is going to hire at least 138,000 vehicles and we have hired vehicles in the past. This commission is going to hire at least 4000 boats; we have hired boats in the past. And we’re going to hire over 88,000 motorcycles.

“Now, the commission enters into individual contracts with the vehicle owners. We do not enter into any form of contract with the union. What we have with the National Union of Road Transport Workers, and with the National Association of Road Transport Owners, and with the Marine Unions, is what we call a Memorandum of Understanding.

“We don’t enter into contract with them. So, the issue of the name of an individual being mentioned, to the effect that the individual is going to provide all the vehicles the commission needs for the purposes of this election is just mischief, it’s just mischievous. We have contracts with individual drivers. What the union does for us is that we enter into an MoU with them, and sometimes in a situation where an individual driver absconds, they help us locate the driver. In a situation where a driver does not turn up on time, they know their members, they help us find out why the individual has not turned up on time.”

Acknowledging that the NURTW has been banned in some states, Okoye said, “but they do not convey materials for us. It’s the individual drivers that convey materials for us.”

Okoye also assured that INEC was prepared against any possible cyber-attacks, particularly as it affects the transmission of results on election day, noting that the commission had a “robust system” in place to prevent attacks.

“Every platform is susceptible to attacks. What is important is the type of defences that you provide for your networks. As far as the commission is concerned, our defences are robust. But you know, no army goes into war by disclosing its defences to the enemy. As far as we are concerned, those who attack our platforms are the enemies of democracy. And we are not going to explain or even disclose to them the type of defences we have provided, or we have we have in place.

“What I want to assure Nigerians, and the Chairman has assured Nigerians, is that our defences are robust. We have also engaged ethical hackers to attempt to hack into our platforms, and from what we have seen, and from what we have tested, our defences are robust, and we assure Nigerians that we are ready for the conduct of this election.”

Source link