• Sunday, June 16, 2024
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INEC calls for stakeholders’ collaboration to institute transparency in election result management

INEC calls for stakeholders’ collaboration to institute transparency in election result management

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has urged critical stakeholders to join the Commission in instituting a regime of transparency in election and result management.

INEC National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, who made the call on Friday at a virtual workshop on INEC Communication Policy, said the desire to achieve these noble goals is at the heart of the development of the Communication Policy.

Okoye also said INEC will continue to enhance Nigerians’ knowledge of electoral issues and processes and urged the media, civil society groups and all relevant stakeholders to join the Commission in deepening the use of technology in the electoral process.

According to him, the Commission is courageously and boldly deepening the use of technology in the electoral process, adding that this is the basis of the introduction of the INEC Party Nomination Portal; the Election Observer Accreditation Portal and the Media Accreditation Portal.

The INEC chief spokesman said transparency in the result transmission process led to the development and deployment of the INEC Result Viewing Portal wherein the Commission uploads Forms EC8A for public viewing.
“The INEC Communication Policy is a composite document designed to address both internal and external communication processes and procedures of the Commission and for the Commission. It is designed to eliminate ‘ad-hocism’ in the entire gamut of the Commission’s communication system. I therefore implore all of you to familiarize yourselves with the clear intendment and intentions of the document and see it as a tool not only of understanding our communication policies but also of seeing the challenges,” Okoye explained.

“It is difficult communicating internally and externally when individuals and groups are facing existential challenges occasioned by a pandemic. It is difficult getting individuals, groups and organisations to focus on the conduct and management of elections in a period of fear, anxiety or worse. It is difficult getting individuals and groups to focus on elections when the dominant issues in global lexicon relates to a virus and protocols relating to managing it.

“It is difficult getting people to focus on elections and electoral matters when there is looming danger that they may be out of job or already out of work or are in Internally Displaced Persons Camps. It is difficult getting people to focus on elections in a period of uncertainty.

“Communicating what people may see as non-essential service in a period of a pandemic or uncertainty requires a new form of capacity and skill. It requires new thinking and new methodologies and strategy.

“Consequently, information/ communication experts and managers must design ways and means of getting the people to focus on messages that are related to the electoral process. It is also important to disseminate such messages and information using means that the people can relate to in a new setting of physical distancing, lock down and daily rise in infection level. Information managers must therefore communicate in such a way that people will see and appreciate election as an essential service.

“The Commission designed the Communication Policy to enable us communicate effectively. While the
conceptualization and the design of this policy did not envisage the global pandemic, it is instructive that the policy is designed as a flexible and living document that responds to evolving situations. We seek the cooperation of all the critical stakeholders in our external communication drive.

“The Commission, more than before needs the understanding, cooperation and reach of the media to get its messages across to the Nigerian people. It is true that the traditional media is presently facing existential crisis and is moving its operations towards maximising the benefits of the social media,” he said.