INEC Not Averse To Public Scrutiny
•Vows to expose holders of illegal PVCs
INEC Not Averse To Public Scrutiny – The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has declared that its activities are open for public assessments and criticisms. Its Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, stated this yesterday at a public dialogue with civil society groups, organised by the European Centre for Electoral Support.
He said the rationale to subject electoral process to public scrutiny was to guarantee transparency and build public confidence in the commission.
Yakubu explained that the public reserves the right to challenge electoral process being funded and conducted by public funds.
He added that the commission has so far recorded tremendous success in the conduct of its off-season governorship elections in some states. Represented by a National Commissioner, Prof. Antonia Okooisi Simbine, the INEC chairman hinted that the essence of the public dialogue was to share ideas and knowledge that could further strengthen the electoral process.
He said: “The commission would want civil society groups to use this wonderful opportunity to interrogate and proffer solutions on a wide number of issues, such as vote buying, internal party democracy, and more especially, inclusivity issues relating to gender.
He also included PWD’s representation and youths, all of which remain low but topical, despite the efforts of the commission and other stakeholders.
Senior legal expert with European Centre for Electoral Support (ECES) Maria Teresa stressed the interest behind support for INEC was to ensure credible electoral process, ahead of 2019 general elections.
About 65 members of CSOs, drawn from across northeast and central attended the public forum in Kano. Meanwhile, INEC has pledged to identify and expose with illegal possession of Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs).
This followed media reports that a high volume of foreigners from Cameroon, Chad, Niger, Togo and Benin Republic had been arrested by the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) in Lagos for illegal possession of PVCs.
National Commissioner; Dr. Adekunle Ogunmola, said all legal frameworks and budgets of the elections have been perfected for the elections.
INEC also urged politicians to be modest in their conducts to ensure that the process is free, fair and credible.
He spoke yesterday at the INEC Election Monitoring and Support Centre (EMSC), zonal implementers trainers workshop sponsored by European Centre for Electoral Support (ECES).
Special Assistance to the INEC Chairman, Prof. Mohammed Kuna, said the workshop was important to meet up with the demands. The commission boss said: “We must concert efforts at ensuring that we get adequately prepared for the 2019 general election, and right now we are very much on course.”