Group Urges FG To Strengthen INEC

Dr Uloma Osuala, Deputy Country Director, International Foundation for Electoral System ( IFES), on Wednesday urged the Federal Government to strengthen the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to Improve on the nation’s electoral system.

She made the plea in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos, adding that the electoral body should be made to ensure that registration of voters is continuous.

Osuala said that continuous improvement on the mandate and activities of INEC would deepen the democratic system of the country.

According to her, many Nigerians were not able to participate in the last electoral process because there was not enough time for voters’ registration and INEC could not capture many eligible Nigerians.

”IFES in collaboration with the European Union organised a project called `Mitigation of Violence in Election’ to evaluate the last general election.

”The project has an objective to strengthen capacity of stakeholders in Nigeria to prevent and remedy electoral violence and also provide constructive engagement.

”Even when it was said that the last general election was to some extent successful, we still noted some issues that could be improved upon, like the technical issues with the Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs).

“Many people did not get and could not vote.

”There is the need for a continuous voters’ registration, so that it becomes a continual process. We do not have to wait until it is a year to another election before you validate your PVC.

”On the card reader machine, there are few problems that must be fixed to strengthen the efficiency of the machine as well create awareness on the use.

”There should also be continuous training and retraining of INEC officials on the use of the card reader machines and results collation.

”Voter and civic education are part of the global improvement of the education of the people.

” Nigerians must be educated in this field of citizenship and the important role elections play in the democratic process, ” she said.

Osuala also urged the Federal Government to adequately fund INEC to enable it efficiently deliver on its mandate and prepare for future elections. (NAN)

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