Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said it will, in the next two months, convoke a national stakeholders’ dialogue to discuss modalities for the management of electoral process in Nigeria.
NEC Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, who disclosed this during a routine meeting with the Resident Electoral Commissioners in Abuja yesterday, said the dialogue, which would involve all stakeholders in the electoral process, would also include a critical review of the 2008 Justice Mohammed Uwais’ committee report,as well as reports of other committees instituted since 1986; on the conduct of elections in the country.
He itemisied 17 issues that will dominate discussions at the dialogue.
“We are convinced that, until we get our electoral process on the right, consistent and progressively positive trajectory, our efforts at nation-building and promoting peace and progress shall remain epileptic.”
Among issues to be discussed at the meeting, according to the INEC chairman, include the number of political parties and mode of party registration; election security; movement and security of personnel and materials; funding; the use of technology to deepen the electoral process; transmission of election results; electoral legal framework; personal conduct of politicians, especially the do-or-die attitude of politicians, among others. He further expressed hope that the national conversation would “be qualitatively different from what was done in the past and benefit from all previous efforts at reform.”
Yakubu, who noted that in the past 40 years, almost all elections conducted in the country had been accompanied by the report of one committee or another on electoral reform, said there is need to take into consideration the reports of previous committees on electoral reform.
He listed previous committee reports to be reviewed during the dialogue to include “the Babalakin Commission of Inquiry into the affairs of the Federal Electoral Commission (FEDECO in 1986), the Uwais report on electoral reform (2008), the Lemu Committee on post-election violence (2011), the Ken Nnamani Committee on constitutional and electoral reform (2017), the various administrative reports by INEC, investigation reports by the security agencies (the Nigeria Police and the Nigerian Army).