Foundation Moves To Support Plateau State Electoral Body


The International Foundation for Electoral Systems, IFES, has pledged to give technical support and training to the Plateau State Independent Electoral Commission, PLASIEC, to enhance the credibility of elections.

IFES Country Director, Mr Seray Jah, made this known on Thursday in Jos, when he led a team on a visit to the Chairman and members of staff of PLASIEC.

Jah said that apart from the PLASIEC, the foundation was also providing similar support to five other State Independent Electoral Commissions, SIECs, one per geopolitical zone.

Support Through Technology

The country director stated that the goal of IFES was to support the institutions through technology, technical assistance, capacity building, and training, as well as the promotion of gender equity and inclusion.

According to him, the approach aims to ensure that the commissons conduct more widely accepted elections, ultimately achieving near perfection.

“We are supporting the SIECs through the funding of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and the Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office (FCDO) from the UK.

“It is very important for a nation to build strong local government elections because they are closer to the people.

“Having been involved in this process for a while, we, along with our donors and ourselves as IFES, want to see more credibility in the elections, more trust by the voters, and more proactive engagement by stakeholders with the commission.

“We also want to see more political willingness by the governments that oversee the SIECs. Achieving these goals would enhance not only the elections but also local development.

“If people trust the elected officials, they are more likely to believe in them, which could lead to better governance,” he stated.

Political Economy Analysis

Jah further explained that before selecting the SIECs, the foundation conducted a political economy analysis to determine which states would form the best partnerships with them, and those that would demonstrate willingness.

The country director stated that they analysed all the states in the country and narrowed it down to Plateau, Kaduna, Lagos, Akwa Ibom, Gombe, and one more.

PLASIEC Chairman, Mr Planji Cishak, said that the foremost intention of the commission was to foster collaboration among all stakeholders, particularly the citizens of Plateau.

Cishak said PLASIEC’s goal was to ensure that Plateau citizens’ voices were heard and their votes counted in the choice of leaders at the grassroots.

He stated that in pursuit of the commission’s mission to uphold democratic ideals in Plateau, PLASIEC intended to forge a robust partnership with media practitioners, political parties, security agencies, and development partners.

The chairman emphasised that the IFES, YIAGA Africa, civil society organisations, and all critical stakeholders were crucial to the success of their assignment.

He lauded IFES for picking PLASIEC for its support in the north-central geopolitical zone of the country.

Cishak said the PLASIEC leadership would identify and address challenges, implement innovative solutions, and maintain an open-door policy to rebuild trust and restore hope in the electoral process among Plateau citizens.

“Together, let’s raise the bar and ensure that PLASIEC sets a standard of integrity and fairness that serves as a beacon for others,” he added.



Comments are closed.