Chairman of the
Independent National Electoral
Commission, INEC, Professor
Mahmood Yakubu, has
canvassed for stricter sanctions
against perpetrators of electoral
violence in the country.
Speaking at the Commission’s
headquarters in Abuja during a
consultative meeting with Civil
Society Organisations, CSOs,
and the Media, Prof Yakubu
decried the spate of electoral
violence recorded in recent
elections.
According to him, “the
symptom of violence is
worrisome to the Commission
and we need to find ways
out of it. Unless and until this
nation decisively deals with
electoral offenders, this circle is
likely to continue”.
The INEC Chairman said
the meeting was convened in
recognition of the critical role
of the CSOs and the Media in
the democratic process, adding
that their observations, inputs,
suggestions and advice play
pivotal roles in improving the
electoral process.
He sought their inputs,
advice and suggestions on
some burning issues which the
Commission had identified in
order to make elections better.
Some of the issues
include: nullified and
upturned elections,
electoral violence, election
security deployment and
inconclusiveness of elections.
Others are: management of the
voting process, improvement
in technology, logistics, staff
recruitment, deployment,
training and communication.
At the end of the highly
interactive session, the CSOs
and media present advised the
Commission on a number of
issues.
They advised that in order
to stem the spate of violence
associated with what is a
civic process; there should
be effective mechanism for
the prosecution of electoral
offenders. To this end, the
meeting called for the setting
up of an electoral offences
tribunal and strict enforcement
of its legal provisions.
They suggested that there shall
be simultaneous accreditation
and voting nation-wide.
They also recommended that
CSOs and the media should
be involved in the security
architecture for elections; the
Inter-Agency Consultative
Committee on Election Security
(ICCES) be expanded to
accommodate representatives
of the CSOs and the media at
all levels and that INEC should
continue to explore ways to
improve the functionality of
the Smart Card Reader (SCR).
Other recommendations
are:”INEC should study the
judgments of the Election
Petition Tribunals with a view
to learning the proper lessons
for improvement of future
elections.
“Recruitment and training
of Ad-hoc staff should be
more open and rigorous and
voter education should be
decentralised and continuous.
“INEC should engage with the
National Assembly in earnest
for the review of constitutional
and legal framework for the
management of elections.
“INEC should re-examine
its guidelines for determining
the margin of victory to reflect
the number of Permanent
Voter Cards (PVCs) collected
rather than the total number
of registered voters and the
process of collating results
at collation centres should
be devoid of ceremonies and
preliminary speeches


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