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THE ROLE OF LOGISTICS TECHNICAL SUPPORT STAFF IN NIGERIAN ELECTORAL SYSTEM A STUDY OF INEC NIGERIA
1.1 Background to the Study
Electoral logistics involve the systematic breakdown in the procedures for averting toe complexities in electioneering. Some of these complexities include appropriate and timely routing of electoral materials, training and posting of trained electoral officers to effectively partitioned zones of the Electoral Commission, prudent mobilization and disbursement of funds for the procurement of materials and adopting to letter, all safety guides of inventory policies.
In 2011, many Nigerians who flocked to the voting centres around the country to exercise their civic rights went home disappointed as they could not cast their votes due to logistics problems with arrangements made by the Logistics Technical department of the Independent national electoral commission (INEC).
Madu (2011) argued the following in the Business Day:
“Any election will be successful if the availability the right election materials, in the right quantity and condition, at the right place, at the right time, with the right electoral Logistics technical officer are ensured. One of the biggest problems faced by Nigerian elections is the politicians, who have become nearly impossible to manage. Madu (2011) asks the question, “Why will the sensitive materials not come in time if not for the fear that politicians will tamper with them?”
The INEC (Independent National Electoral Commission) argued that the reason for not having a successful election was as a result of logistics staffs, who have failed them. However, what this could imply is that the selection criteria of logistics were faulty, as the logistics staff are just middle men. The way to improve the current situation in Nigeria is to adopt a pro-active method to planning. Long term planning is important, as flawless logistics cannot be achieved if electoral bodies do not appreciate the right tools and strategies involved in planning. Madu (2011) saw the training plan of INEC before the election, and did not find any core logistics training, even to the logistics in the organisation.
The Logistics Technical Support Staff of INEC needs adequate training , as they cannot give what they do not have. The saying, if you don‟t train them, don‟t blame them, applies here. Madu (2011) clearly portrays the need for long term planning and an improvement in electoral logistics. Without the correct strategies and methods to plan for electoral logistics, election processes are prone to being unsuccessful.
1.2 Statement of the Problems
There are currently serious logistical challenges in meeting Nigeria‟s electoral demands. Three of such logistical challenges are sufficient planning, infrastructure and human capital. As a result of these challenges, measurement of the efficiency of utilization of the resources committed to electoral processes needs to be conducted, as it is easy to assume that the election is so important that whatever resource has been committed to it seems justified, and as a result of this, funds and other related electoral resources are not used optimally. The problem of lack of infrastructures and capacity also usually implies that good electoral processes in Nigeria are quite expensive. This issue of election cost has been raised recently by the presidents of South Africa and Nigeria in separate instances. It does not seem that the various national electoral bodies in Africa have realized the potential benefits that active collaboration between them can deliver, especially with regards to the management of electoral logistics. There is a need for the proper definition of an electoral system in the form of a blueprint model of the main electoral processes, so that the performance of logistics infrastructures and resources can be measured. If something cannot be measured, it is difficult to improve.
In this study, a lot of problems militating against effective logistics management are looked into. Some of these include:
(i) the impact of finance on the running of electoral processes;
(ii) the staffing condition of INEC;
(iii) the impact of various decrees and laws on the success of electoral logistics;
(iv) the poor communication network in National Electoral Commission;
(v) the poor transport facilities which encourages the poor attitude of various Commissions
It is therefore, obvious that if these problems are not properly tackled, then the country is leading for a political doom. This is because a formidable political stability is a base for the survival of any economy. The present situation of inconsistency in system of elections and instability of government does not synchronize with the yearnings and aspirations of the populace. This situation endangers the hope of democracy.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The main objectives of this study is to examine the Role Of Logistics Technical Support Staff In Nigerian Electoral System A Study Of INEC, Nigeria.
The specific objectives are thus
- To examine whether poor communication arrangement is responsible for the inadequate technical logistics management.
- To investigate whether uncooperative attitude of various bodies, commissions and agencies is responsible for the poor routine and mobilization of the electoral materials at the grassroots.
- To analyze whether poor staffing condition of Independent National Electoral Commission is a great sabotage to electoral logistic management inconsistency in planning and logistics.
- To ascertain whether availability of electoral materials, finance, vehicles and good maintenance culture is a sine-qua -non to the effective logistic management.
1.4 Research Questions
- Does poor communication arrangement is responsible for the inadequate technical logistics management?
- Does uncooperative attitude of various bodies, commissions and agencies is responsible for the poor routine and mobilization of the electoral materials at the grassroots?
- Does poor staffing condition of Independent National Electoral Commission is a great sabotage to electoral logistic management inconsistency in planning and logistics?
- Does the availability of electoral materials, finance, vehicles and good maintenance culture is a sine-qua -non to the effective logistic management.
1.5 STATEMENT OF THE HYPOTHESIS
A study of this nature is not conclusive if there are no testable statement of facts. Hypothesis can be defined as a testable statement of required facts and interpretation determining their validity of the statement. They are tentative empirical consequence. The hypotheses contained in this study are structured in line with the research questions drawn. The researcher used the following hypotheses:
- The poor communication arrangement is responsible for the inadequate management.
- The uncooperative attitude of various bodies, commissions and agencies is resposiblee for the poor routine and mobilization of the electoral materials at the grassroots.
- The poor staffing condition of Independent National Electoral Commission is a great sabotage to electoral logistic management inconsistency in planning and logistics.
- The availability of electoral materials, finance, vehicles and good maintenance culture is a sine-qua -non to the effective logistic management.
1.6 Scope of the Study
The nature of this study appears complicated since it is concentrated on public opinion. The researcher, because of the problem of distance and uncooperative attitude of the respondents during interviews, restricted the study to few States especially those that have Federal institutions to ensure spread. The study was concentrated on appreciable population representing the leaders and the led. The selection cuts across various demographic traits. In this study, however, the researcher did not administer research instruments to top government officials because of anticipated bias and uncompromising response in assessing the logistic of the Commission. This is essentially a case study of a particular Commission whose corporate objectives are difficult to come by owing to destructive interference by the Government and other bodies. We shall on this note, restrict our study to those aspects that form the mainstream of the activities of the Commission. These include funding, transportation, security, personnel, materials and legal services.
Significance of the Study
This study at the end shall throw light on:
- The optimal routing process for the allocation of electioneering materials
- the scheduling responsibilities of the Electoral Commission of various agencies as regards staff recruitment, training and posting
- the best communication network to alert security agents of any action in any place viewed to go against the rules guiding the conduct of election
- the resolution of the transportation problem (effective logistic management
- and finally, a re-appraisal of the existing electioneering laws and the duties of various agencies