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No observation report, no future accreditation, INEC tells CSOs



The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), says it will no longer register any election observer that fails to submit its report, after monitoring elections it conducted.

INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, stated this at the commission’s first quarterly consultative meeting with Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), for 2024 in Abuja on Wednesday.

Yakubu while assuring the CSOs of INEC’S continued partnership, urged those yet to submit their observation reports for the 2023 general elections and other off-cycle and re-run elections to do so.

He said that INEC always appreciated the observations and recommendations contained in the CSOs’ election observation reports.

“Some of the reforms and innovations introduced by the commission over the years, were drawn from your observation reports.

“However, while many of you submitted their reports, some accredited observers are yet to do so for the last general elections, supplementary elections, off-cycle elections, by-elections and re-run elections.

“May I, therefore, seize this opportunity to remind those yet to submit their observation reports that it is a mandatory condition for eligibility to observe future elections.

“Going forward, the commission will operate strictly on the policy of No Observation Report, No Accreditation,” Yakubu said.

Yakubu also advised CSOs to engage and observe political parties primaries for the Ondo State governorship election for inclusivity and credibility.

“Political parties in Ondo state will begin their primaries for the governorship election in the next two weeks. 16 political parties have indicated interest to participate in the election.

“I urge CSOs to engage with political parties and observe their primaries just as you engage with INEC and deploy observers to the main election conducted by the commission.

“By doing so, you will strengthen your advocacy for inclusivity for groups such as women, youths and Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) that are under-represented in elective offices at national and state levels,” he said.

For the Edo governorship election, Yakubu said that so far, eight out of the 18 political parties that conducted primaries for the election had uploaded the particulars of their candidates to its dedicated portal.

He urged other parties yet to upload the particulars of their candidates to do so before March 24, being the deadline when the portal automatically shuts down by 6pm.

He said that thereafter, INEC would publish the personal particulars of the candidates (Form EC9) on March 31, for public scrutiny as required by law.

In her remarks, the Executive Director, Sustainable Gender Action Initiative, Mrs Mufuliat Fijabi, pledged that the CSOs would also strengthen their observations of parties’ primaries, leading to the emergence of candidates for elections.

Fijabi said observation of the primaries remained important, because there was need for more inclusive election in the country that truly would reflect representation of more women, youth and PWDs.

Fijabi, who said that political parties have critical roles to play in deepening of electoral processes, advised parties yet to upload particulars of their candidates for the Edo governorship election to do so without delay.

She urged CSOs yet to submit their observation reports for previous elections to INEC to also do so.

“I am quite optimistic that my colleagues here, who are yet to turn in their reports will expedite actions to ensure that all pending reports are forwarded to the commission.

“I also agree with the fact that to have a robust electoral process in Nigeria, feedback is very important from both INEC and the CSOs,” she said.

Fijabi assured INEC that the CSOs would continue to work with the commission and other stakeholders to improve on Nigeria’s electoral and democratic processes.

Emmanuel Oloniruha

NEWSVERGE, published by The Verge Communications is an online community of international news portal and social advocates dedicated to bringing you commentaries, features, news reports from a Nigerian-African perspective. A unique organization, founded in the spirit of Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, comprising of ordinary people with an overriding commitment to seeking the truth and publishing it without fear or favour. The Verge Communications is fully registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as a corporate organization.



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