Structured engagement of Stakeholders essential for Credible Elections

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The Electoral Institute, Abuja, an arm of the National Independent Elections Commission, INEC, Nigeria, on Tuesday organised a political dialogue on the forthcoming  September 22 Osun State Governorship Election and what INEC should do to ensure successful polls.

Prof. Siyan Oyeweso of the Department of History and International Studies, Osun State University, Oshogbo, the lead speaker, gave the political history and electoral trends in the state. It is expected that the Osun poll will be a test run for Nigeria’s crucial general elections in 2019.

Members of the high table at the dialogue
Members of the high table at the dialogue

The Dialogue discussants included civil society organisations, CSO, representatives from the Election Monitors, Partners for Electoral Reforms, Alliance for Credible Elections, while INEC senior officials including the Olusegun Agbaje, resident electoral Commissioner, Osun State, provided explanations on the commission’s activities and strategies for continuous improvement of the electoral processes.

Issues flagged during the interactive session included logistical challenges, the role of security agents, voter education and the disturbing phenomenon of vote-selling and vote-buying, which could undermine the credibility of the electoral process.

Group picture
Group picture

Suggested solutions include deterrence, media training for election reporting, robust citizen action, protection of the secrecy of ballot and allowing accredited political party agents and observers to the collation centres to ensure transparency.

Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, INEC chair and ECONEC governing board President, the chief host was represented by Prof Okechukwu Ibeanu, chair of the Electoral Institute board.

The political dialogue is part of INEC-stakeholder engagements before major elections, to ensure effective citizen participation, political inclusivity and collective ownership of the political process.

Participants at the event
Participants at the event

– Sept. 5, 2018 @ 17:20 GMT |

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