Nigerians task INEC on early preparations for elections

Luqmon Balogun, Lagos

The National Independent Electoral Commission INEC has been advised to begin preparation early for all elections scheduled to hold this year.

In a chat with VON correspondent, Nigerians said from what was observed in the election conducted by the commission after the general election in April 2015, there was need for it to review its operations.

According to them, effort must be geared towards ensuring adequate preparations by the commission in order to prevent most of the inadequacies witnessed during the Kogi and Bayelsa governorship elections.

Nigeria’s former President, Goodluck Jonathan had earlier called for the review of the INEC’s operation during the last Bayelsa governorship election after the card-reading machine failed to capture his fingerprints during accreditation exercise.

A Political analyst, Adeyinka Ayeni said that the electoral body has not learnt from the mistakes of the past, especially in the area of workable solution to the card readers which has posed challenges during elections.

“Everyone knows the card readers has posed a lot of challenges during election since its introduction during Jega’s tenure, I expect the new INEC team to have correct some of the errors in it before the Kogi and Bayelsa state elections,” he said.

Ayeni maintained the machine had given some level of credibility to the electioneering process in the country and that INEC must ensure its effectiveness and availability during subsequent polls.

Staff Training

A University lecturer, Eugene Abumeh said that besides the card-reading machine hassle, some ad-hoc staff listed for the election were not well trained as it was seen and reported during the recent elections.

According to him “Proper training for the ad-hoc staff is a priority which INEC must take cognizance of if they really want to progress in the feat they have recorded in the last few elections.”

He noted that the reported abduction of corps members during elections should be addressed and a synergy between the Commission and security operatives must be established.

Electoral Act

A constitutional lawyer, Abubakar Bapayaya also asked INEC to revisit the electoral act and ensure that the gap created in the act which gave room for the confusion in Kogi state where the All Progressives Congress governorship candidate Abubakar Audu died before the announcement of the result was addressed.

“The lacuna created in the electoral act that led to drama which played out during Kogi election must be checked.” he said.

Others also enjoined the commission to nominate and appoint credible electoral officials to oversee elections across the country and discipline any erring officials who intend to truncate the effort of the commission.