• Tuesday, July 23, 2024
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Review your operations before 2027, stakeholders urge INEC

INEC accredits 134 observer groups for Edo, Ondo elections

Stakeholders have urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to review its operations ahead of next electoral cycle, saying there is the need for early engagement with grassroots to build trust and confidence in the electoral system.

They also urged the National Assembly to ensure the completion of the amendment of the Electoral Act and the review of the Constitution, at least two years before the general election.

The District Head Maisandari, Abba Bukar, speaking during a town hall meeting with theme: ‘Peacebuilding, Climate Resilience, and Indigenous Strategies in Borno State,’ held in Maiduguri, maintained that diverse groups of stakeholders have come together to reflect on the outcome previous general elections, advocate sustainable peace, and offer suggestions to strengthen democracy.

According to him, such moves would enable all stakeholders and citizens of the country to fully understand the changes made to the laws for effective implementation and compliance.

“Election play a crucial role in our democratic values, it is everyone business and INEC should review their approach so that we can have peaceful and acceptable elections,” he said.

The Senior Programme Officer, National Orientation Agency (NOA) Borno State, Mohammed Bukar highlighted the need for early preparation and increased sensitisation and awareness creation on voter education and the Electoral Act 2022.

“It has been over a year since the general election in Nigeria. I think this kind of multi-stakeholder engagement seeks to reflect and share indigenous approaches deployed during the last election, key successes and lessons learned for improvement in the future elections,” he said.

The Consortium Manager, SOS Children’s Villages in Nigeria, David Gabriel said the town hall meeting aimed to underscore the seriousness of SOS Children’s Villages for credible and transparency elections in the country.

“We want to review communities’ strategies that work during last year’s elections and to get their feedback as well as their observations, and that’s why we converged all the stakeholders in the place today. We have INEC, security agencies, traditional and religious leaders, market associations, women groups, youth groups, students, and Persons Living with Disabilities.

“We want the future elections to be participatory, inclusive and peaceful. The new things we should be expecting, you will see the community driven action, it is much better when community people are driving the process. Based on the conversations that happened here today, you could see that before the elections, during after the elections each groups had something they contributed to the conduct of elections we have had.

David noted that the stakeholders expressed commitment to working closely with the relevant authorities to ensure the recommendations from the town hall meeting are incorporated into the ongoing efforts to strengthen electoral processes and promote sustainable peace and democracy.

“As they leave here today, they would be working towards ensuring that they participate in the processes in order to get better results in their communities and the state at large,” David said.

The project was funded by the European Union and implemented European Union Support to Democratic Governance Programme in Nigeria (EU SDGN II) in collaboration with SOS Children’s Villages.