Ondo 2020: Foundation trains 50 INEC-accredited observers, harps on self protection

Cleen Foundation, a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), has trained 50 Accredited Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) election observers for the Oct. 10, Ondo State Governorship election, and laid emphasis on the need to self-protect while observing the elections.

Mrs Blessing Abiri, the Programme Advisor of the foundation, made this known on Thursday at an online training for the foundation’s Ondo polls observers.

Abiri advised the observers not to engage in any form of observation that could endanger their lives and property but to only report what their eyes could see without lies or exaggeration.

“The main purpose of this training is to guide observers on what to do during the election exercise and how to go about it.

“But first we must lay emphasis on self protection. Every observer has a duty to protect him or herself first before anything else.

“That is why each observer will be deployed to the nearest polling unit to one’s residence.

“Engaging in any form of argument with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), officials or political party agents or citizens is unacceptable.

“In the case of any ugly incidents just walk away and call the centre for guide,’’ she said.

She advised all the observers of the foundation to be well kitted by wearing the entire necessary outfit for proper identification, including the observers’ vest, fez caps and identification cards that would be provided for each person.

Abiri advised those with underlining health conditions not to participate in the exercise and warned strongly against getting intoxicated by any substance or any material enticement that could deter accurate observation and report.

“We strongly advise any observer who feels unwell not to participate in the exercise.

“This is because those with underlining health issues are most vulnerable to the COVID-19 virus,’’ she said.

She urged the observers to file their observation reports through the appropriate channel for quick and easy collation of the foundations observation report for quick dissemination to the public.

Mr Gabriel Akinremi, a senior IT officer at the foundation, trained the observers using its mobile application known as `Cleen App’.

He said that the App could be downloaded from either Google play store on Android devices or on Apple play store for Iphone users.

He advised the observers to be well equipped with internet facility, well charged cell phones battery, availability of power banks for backups and telephone call cards for making emergency phone calls.

The News Agency of Nigeria , reports that the 50 trained observers consisted of members of the foundation and residents of Ondo State.

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