Bolaji Ogundele, Abuja

 

THE Presidential Task Force (PTF) on Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has warned that voters without face masks will not be allowed to exercise their franchise tomorrow.

The National Coordinator of the PTF, Dr. Sani Aliyu, disclosed this on Thursday during the task force’s media briefing in Abuja.

He said voters, candidates and officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) would be required to follow the anti-COVID-19 guidelines put in place for elections, noting that the country could not afford losing the gains made in the national response efforts during the election.

Aliyu said the process would be protected from the spread of the virus, adding that Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) would be provided for electoral officers.

He said the materials to be used and the voting environment would be disinfected.

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He urged candidates and officials of the 17 political parties to lead by example during the exercise.

“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.

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