Independent National Electoral Commission INEC, has been urged to holistically tackle the menace of electoral violence that has continued to be the hallmark of elections in the country, the call among several other issues were made yesterday at the interactive session held between the Commission, Media and Civil Society Organizations, CSOs, at INEC headquarters in Abuja.
Chairman of the Commission Professor Mahmood Yakubu, commends the media and the various CSOs for their efforts and partnership with INEC, towards ensuring that the Commission delivers its primary objectives, as well as sensitizing the public on the need for the sustainability of our democracy.
Speaking further, the Chairman highlights some of the challenges facing the commission as Political parties reneging on peace pacts sign, security deployment; inconclusiveness of election; management of voting process; improvement in technology; logistics; staff improvement and communication. He enjoined the media and the CSOs to help in proffering suggestions and solutions towards these challenges.
Festus Okoye representing one of the CSOs present, suggested that Electoral Offences Commission has not done enough as, ‘some of the peace pact signed by these political parties were mere formality, as nobody has been prosecuted for electoral offence, hence impunity continues to linger, and inconclusiveness of election is just the news and name given to it by the politicians for selfish ends, as the constitution clearly make provisions for election to be re-run when it is considered inconclusive’.
The Commission was equally advised to work with relevant stakeholders managing our elections, as the perpetrators of the electoral violence are not ghosts but politicians within the Federal Republic of Nigeria as exemplified in the recent Bayelsa Gubernatorial election. Therefore; INEC should try these politicians to serve as deterrent to other would be perpetrators in our future elections.
INEC was equally cautioned on the signing of oath neutrality with the National Union of Road Transport Workers, NURTW, as evidence and events in the past have shown that they have allegiance with political parties in some states and therefore partisan. The Commission should be weary of partnership they sought in their quest for the conduct of credible elections in the country.
Professor Mahmood Yakubu, on the other hand commended all present for their various contributions, observations and suggestions and suggested that the meeting with the Media and CSOs should be quarterly so that ideas can be exchanged on how to achieve a credible election in the country.

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