Ondo 2020: No face mask, no voting – PTF

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The Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 has charged the 1.5 million voters gearing up to vote in Saturday’s gubernatorial election in Ondo State to put on their face masks or forget about exercising their franchise.

National Coordinator of PTF, Dr. Sani Aliyu stated this Thursday at the daily briefing of the task force in Abuja on Thursday.

He said that the same applied to candidates and officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), who he said would be provided with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

The national coordinator further disclosed that the materials to be used and the voting area would be disinfected.

According to him, Nigeria could not afford to be complacent to avoid losing the gains recorded in the national response efforts during the Ondo election.

He appealed to the 17 candidates and the officials of the participating political parties to adhere to laid-down protocols to serve as good example to others.

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Speaking further, Aliyu said, “As we all know, we will hold the governorship election across 18 local governments. We are expecting about 1.5 million eligible people to vote in 3,000 polling units across the state.

“This is clearly a huge exercise. It’s a huge exercise that will also come with risks. Therefore, in order to protect the voters, election officials and candidates in the electoral process, we urge everyone to comply with the INEC guidelines.

“Face masks are mandatory across the polling units. No face mask, no voting. Physical distancing must be enforced, especially in queuing at polling units. Alcohol-based sanitisers will be provided. Election will begin at 8:30am, to close at 2:30pm, but anybody on the outer queue by 2:30pm will still be allowed to vote. There will be two queues; an outer queue and an inner queue.

“Voters will be brought into the inner queue periodically from the outer queue into the inner queue in order to prevent overcrowding. Chairs, tables and work places will be disinfected regularly, PPE will be provided to polling staff, including infrared thermometers, for temperature monitoring and at the close of the polls, staff will ensure that materials are disinfected properly and packaged carefully.”

He emphasised that public safety remained the government’s main priority and urged voters, candidates, and all election officials to adhere strictly to the safety measures that have been put in place with INEC.

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