As the forthcoming governorship in Ondo State beckons, political party agents who will be serving as representatives of the participating 17 political parties at the polling units have undergone training on the requirements of their jobs on the election day
The International Republican Institute, IRI during the training for the agents, organized in partnership with the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, said party agents play a significant role during elections, hence the need to equip them with the electoral guidelines.
During the workshop, Sunday Alao who is the Senior Advisor of IRI explained that the quality of agents deployed by political parties during polls matter as their actions and inactions could affect the electoral process.
Alao said “agents must possess the necessary ethical standards to mitigate issues that may arise during polls. They must also understand election procedure and guidelines as well as electoral offences and penalties.”
On his part, the representative of INEC, Shehu Layiwola Wahab emphasized that the program was put together to enhance and sharpen the skills of party agents so that on election day, they will understand and have detailed knowledge of what the process is about.
“The initiative is a noble thing that will help to deepen the knowledge of party agents because without party agents doing what is expected of them on election day, the transparency and credibility of the process will be doubted.”
While lauding the initiative, the state Chairman, Inter-Party Advisory Council, IPAC, Charles Fagbohunka stressed that the workshop is for agents to change the narrative.
”That is why I ensured that the parties made their members available for them to be tutored. So many of them have not been trained before sending them to the polls.” He said.
The Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress in the state, Alex Kalejaye said: “oftentimes, agents do not know what to do on an election day and this creates a problem because sometimes when you don’t know what you are supposed to do or expectations attached to your duty you could make some mistakes and these mistakes could be very costly. It could lead to crisis because any hitch could lead to tension or agitation and before you know it, there is a crisis and when there is a crisis the entire process is disrupted. To avoid this, you have to train them ahead of time and this is what IRI is doing”.
While emphasizing that the job of party agents has been made easy with the workshop, the representative of Zenith Labour Party, ZLP, Emmanuel Fagbayigbo assured that all those that will be serving as agents for the party at the polls will be impacted with the knowledge gained.