Home Lifestyle News Yiaga Africa tasks INEC on transparency, early commencement of FCT elections

Yiaga Africa tasks INEC on transparency, early commencement of FCT elections

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By Angela Atabo
Yiaga Africa, a Civil Society Organisation (CSO), has urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to be transparent in the conduct of FCT Councils election.
The CSO also called on INEC to ensure early commencement of the exercise scheduled to hold on Saturday.
Mr Ezenwa Nwagwu, Board Member, Yiaga Africa, made the call at the organssation’s pre-election news conference and community outreach for the FCT Area council elections on Friday in Kuje.
Nwagwa said Yiaga Africa was also calling on INEC to publish the Permanent Voters Card (PVC) rate as it had initially promised to do before the elections.
He said INEC officials should ensure uniformity and consistency in the application of guidelines across all polling stations, as well as provide explicit information on accreditation and voting procedure, result collation process and announcement.
The board member also advised INEC to ensure that its Result Portal was up and functioning, to enable the upload of polling units level results on election day, so that citizens could track their votes.
Nwagwu said the advice to INEC had become imperative due to the administration and management of local government as the third tier of government in Nigeria had consistently fallen below the expected standards of democratic leadership.
“For a level of government established to be the closest to the people, it is, however, a level of government that is majorly inaccessible to the very people, and failing to provide democratic governance to them.
” While the nation awaits the amendment of the constitution to guarantee the autonomy of local government, regular election at that level presents an opportunity to entrench democracy in them,” he said.
Nwagwu said Yiaga Africa observed the pre-election environment, and noticed that there was poor voter education campaigns by INEC and political parties.
He added that Yiaga feared the possibility of low voter turnout in the council polls, due to little or no campaigning by political parties participating in the election, and low voter mobilisation and publicity.
“Yiaga Africa expects that the likes of capacity gaps and technology challenges experienced during the 2021 Anambra Governorship elections, with the deployment of the BVAS have been addressed.”
He regretted that there were only three female chairmanship candidates and eight vice-chairmanship candidates, while there were 39 female councillorship candidates, indicating the likelihood of poor women representation.
He urged security agencies to collaborate with the commission to secure election materials, personnel and citizens.
Mr Samson Itodo, the Executive Director, Yiaga Africa, called on voters to ensure they cast their votes and adhere to the electoral guidelines.
Itodo said the group would be observing the election to ensure compliance with rules.
Dr Aisha Akanbi, the leader, National Committee of Good Governance on Gender issues, also representing the National Federation of Muslim Women’s Association of Nigeria (FOMWAN), called on women to participate in the election by coming out to vote.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that 2,822 Biometric Voters Accreditation System (BVAS) for the elections and 1,373,492 registered voters are expected to participate in the elections for Chairmen and Councillors positions in the 2,229 polling units . (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)
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