Political strategies

Nigeria: Forum recommends electoral strategies

The Electoral Forum urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to oblige political parties to submit regular audit reports of their accounts.

In a statement issued after the organisation’s seventh technical session in Nigeria’s capital Abuja, the forum said INEC should also publish the audit reports after receiving them.

The Electoral Forum raised various concerns regarding the elections in Nigeria and recommended strategies to improve the electoral process, ahead of the 2023 elections.

“INEC should train ad hoc personnel on the proper location of voting booths to ensure secrecy of the vote and confidentiality with respect to the positions of party agents during the voting process,” the statement signed by the president from the forum, Professor Adebayo Olukoshi, read.

“The National Electoral Offenses Commission should be an independent body and should not be subject to the Attorney General.”

The forum also urged INEC and anti-corruption agencies to ensure compliance with the provisions of the Campaign Act.

He said the media should help boycott negative news and hate speech and provide balanced coverage.

The forum added that mainstream and social media should be used to tackle misinformation, disinformation and issues related to media misuse during the election campaign.

“In addition, banks and anti-corruption agencies such as the ICPC and EFCC should be fully involved in monitoring campaigns and the election period, and the media should put more emphasis on the political campaigns of candidates. and parties,” the statement added.

The forum highlighted the importance of security in the electoral process and emphasized that peaceful and credible elections could only be possible through close collaboration between the CENI and security agencies.

Meanwhile, INEC says the new registrants have not been included in the national register.

The commission was reacting to allegations by the Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) that the INEC had included foreigners in the voter register.

“The names come from both inside and outside Nigeria, including some African countries such as Ghana, Cameroon, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Togo, Guinea, Gambia and countries outside of Africa, including Jamaica, Brazil and New Zealand,” the coalition said.

“Among the registry findings, it is important to note that the majority of foreign names were all born in 1983, whether their photographs show they were old or young.”

But in a statement, the electoral body said it recognizes and respects the right of citizens, as individuals and groups, to demand accountability.

“However, it is always important to exercise caution so that such interventions do not inadvertently sow doubts in the minds of the public, thereby diminishing public confidence in the electoral process,” the INEC Commissioner said. for voter education, Festus Okoye, in the release. .

He added: “For the avoidance of doubt, we reaffirm the main components of these activities. Firstly, the Commission carries out a complete cleaning of the Automated Biometric Identification System (ABIS) of registration data by examining each file.

‘Based on the Elections Act 2022, any record that does not meet all of the criteria for inclusion as set out in section ten, including the registrant’s in-person appearance at the registration location with a proof of identity, age and nationality and our trade rules requirements of a sufficient number of fingerprints and clear images, will be invalidated”.

Photo sources: Yiaga Africa