Laide Raheem, Abeokuta
Election observer group Connected Development (CODE) has advised the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct mock elections in subsequent polls in Nigeria in order to address grey areas before proceeding with actual elections.
CODE also recommended to the Commission that it experiment with partial implementation of electronic voting by allowing willing and some section of the voters’ population to vote electronically.
These recommendations were contained in a report submitted on Wednesday by the Ogun State coordinator of CODE, Jamiu Folarin, to the INEC headquarters in the state.
CODE, an accredited observer of the 2019 general elections, observed in the report, a copy which was made available to our correspondent, that the electoral process was nearly marred by logistic challenges, stressing that there is a need for the conduct of mock elections in Nigeria, starting from 2023 in order to prevent the repeat of anomalies experienced in 2019 general election.
The NGO, in the report, argued further that the lapses observed during the conduct of the Presidential and National Assembly elections, helped in preparing the INEC to improve during the governorship and House of Assembly elections.
The report reads: “The lapses observed at the Presidential and National Assembly elections, especially in the area of logistics, were corrected by INEC during the governorship and House of Assembly elections.
“This is the more reason why INEC should consider a mock election in subsequent polls starting from the 2023 general elections.
“And in order to encourage a larger percentage of eligible voters in the voters’ register and collection of PVCs, there is need for INEC to work with other related government agencies to synchronise Nigerians data in a one card that will enable holders to use it for multiple purposes such as voting, financial transactions, national identity and so on.
“With this, INEC will be able to capture more eligible voters in its register and encourage Nigerians to collect the all-in-one card.”
“Starting from 2023 general elections, INEC should experiment with partial implementation of electronic voting by allowing willing and some section of the voters’ population to vote electronically.”
Other recommendations in the report include retaining the simultaneous accreditation and voting; transparency in electronic transmission of election data; prosecution of electoral offenders; improvement of welfare of INEC officials; continuous voters’ education and adequate information.