The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is partnering with some prominent Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) to create a platform for key stakeholders in the electoral process to share experiences and build public confidence in the electoral process, ahead of the 2023 general election.
To this end, a committee of INEC-YIAGA joint national conference on the 2023 general election has been inaugurated to among other objectives, identify and popularize innovations and reforms designed to enhance the integrity of the 2023 polls.
The planning committee which has National Commissioner, Prof. Abdullahi Abdu Zuru, as chairman is also to explore and build strategic partnership for improving the democratic qualities of the 2023 general election and provide stakeholders opportunity to give account of their preparedness for the election.
Members of the committee are drawn from INEC and partnering organisations such as; YIAGA Africa, the European Union (EU), The Albino Foundation, Nigerian Women Trust Fund, ACE Foundation, International Foundation for Electoral Support (IFES) among others.
Inaugurating the Committee at a brief ceremony held at the INEC Headquarters, Abuja, on Wednesday, Chairman of INEC, Professor Mahmood Yakubu underscored the immense contributions of CSOs to the development of democracy in Nigeria.
He recalled the successes achieved through partnerships with various CSOs in a bid to strengthen the electoral process and mobilize citizens for participation in the electoral process.
The committee members present at inauguration included the Chairman Professor Abdullahi Abdu Zuru, Samson Itodo Cynthia Mbamalu, Michael Agada, and Bakara Yetunde all of YIAGA Africa, Jake Epelle of Albino Foundation, Obaje Ukeh of IFES, Laolu Olawumi, EU; Obinna Osisiogu, ACE Centre and Mufuliat Fijabi, Nigeria Women Trust Fund.
Other members of the committee are: the Chief Technical Adviser to the Hon. Chairman of INEC, Prof. Bolade Eyinla, Special Adviser to the Hon. Chairman INEC, Prof. M.J Kuna, Chief Press Secretary to INEC Chairman, Rotimi Oyekanmi, the D-G of The Electoral Institute, Dr. Sa’ad Umar Idris, Director VEP, Ayodele Aluko; Director EPM, Aminu Idris; and Engr., and Director Planning and Monitoring, Paul Omokore, as Member / Secretary.
Other co-opted members are; Director Commission’s Secretariat, Mrs. Maryam Iya Musa, Director, Health Services, Dr. Ajoku G.N, Lebari, Director Security Samson Ndu, and Ag. International Cooperation& Partnerships, Kemi Oyeyemi.
The Committee has 2 weeks to submit its report.
Responding on behalf of the committee, Samson Itodo of YIAGA Africa appreciated the commission for deeming the committee fit to carry out the tasks.
He said the Committee would ensure that the 2023 general election met international best practices.
Samson Itodo renewed his call on President Muhammadu Buhari to assent to the Electoral Act Amendment Bill to enable the commission and other stakeholders prepare ahead of the 2023 general election.