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EU-SDGN enhances trust in Nigeria’s elections

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By Mercy Kelani

International observers are means of promoting inclusivity in elections – INEC.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), in a statement made by the chairman, Mahmood Yakubu on September 12, 2022 in Abuja, amidst appreciation of the support of international development partners towards the enhancement of training and capacity building, production and delivering of messages for voter Education and sensitization said that the recently deployed international election observation missions are now a means which will be efficient for the enhancement of public confidence and trust in Nigerian elections.

Statements was made at the closure of Phase 1 and the launch of Phase II of the European Union Support to Democratic Governance in Nigeria (EU-SDGN). The chairman of the commission assured Nigerians that the commission will work in collaboration with group of partners for the implementation of the support to the INEC component of the EU-SDGN II. The electoral commission will also be responsible for the creation of an enabling environment to aid the easiness of the work of the partners for a successful program implementation.

The electoral process is open for all including PWD AND IDPs.

At the voluntary choice of the partners, according to Yakubu, shows worthy confidence in their ability to take actions and carryout activities that are crucial to the promotion of the industrialization of democratic norms in the country. The commission, together with the implementing partners will work to achieve free, fair, credible, and inclusive elections. However, the major costs of the country’s electoral activities, which include the acquisition of sensitive and non-sensitive materials for the elections still serve as the sovereign duty of the Federal Government.

Aid granted to the commission by the international development partners was really appreciated as it does not only train officials but also ensures the active participation of every segment of the society in the electoral process with specific reference to women, youths, persons with disability (PWD), Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs). It will also aid election conflict mitigation and resolution. The commission will therefore keep deploying international and domestic election observers in accordance with its guidelines.

INEC has sent letters to Intl. organizations to deploy observation missions.

Deployment of election observation missions has been really effectual to the commission in that their recommendations has been useful in reviewing the processes of the commission and introducing a few progressive reforms in its electoral legal framework together with global good practices. In respect to this, INEC has sent out letters to international organizations such as the United Nations, European Union, commonwealth, the African Union and ECOWAS, as an invitation to deploy observation missions for the 2023 general election.

There will be a constant collaboration with the European Union (EU), the commission’s development partners and every electoral stakeholder to achieve Sustainability of the country’s electoral reforms so as to shield the integrity and affirm the credibility of outcomes of the election, according to the Rule of Law and the electorate’s will. Beneficial of the program, the commission has gotten supports in terms of training and capacity building for its staff, engagement with stakeholders, public enlightenment, voter education and promotion of inclusivity.

Progressive provisions of the Electoral Act 2022 are owed to the support.

The support has enabled further strengthening of the INEC’s organizational and planning capacity, improvement of its internal and external communication, more regular consultation with stakeholders and advocacy for inclusivity in the electoral process. The result of these aforementioned activities has led to the enhancement of public confidence in the commission and provision of quality assistance towards the strengthening of integrity and credibility of the electoral process. A major achievement owed to these activities is the progressive provisions of the Electoral Act 2022; specifically, the deployment of Technology for voter accreditation and result management at the polling unit level.


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