2019 : Civil Society outlines expectations for credible polls





Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room (Situation Room) has outlined expectations that must be met in the conduct of the forthcoming elections for it to pass the test of being free, fair and credible.

Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room (Situation Room) has outlined expectations that must be met in the conduct of the forthcoming elections for it to pass the test of being free, fair and credible.

Convener of Situation Room, Mr Clement Nwankwo, at the unveiling of the Situation Room Hub for the election in Abuja, said, the threshold document contains the criteria to be followed for the election to be regarded as credible. 

Nwankwo said the document contains a set of conditions that INEC, security agencies, political parties and state institutions must fulfill to give credibility to electoral process.

“Situation Room demands that INEC must ensure that there is absence of multiple registrations, removal of under-aged and deceased voters in collaboration with the National Population Commission.

“INEC should also ensure alignment between election data and demographic data; keep timely adherence to guidelines for display of Voters’ Register and give voters sufficient time to verify their details.

“There is need for audit of Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVCs) collection process and rate, uncollected cards, and protocol for storage and protection.

“INEC must also publicise the reforms it has made regarding malfunctioning of Smart Card Reader (SCR), during the accreditation and voting procedure.

“It should also make a commitment to a special audit in the event of a five per cent card reader incidence failure,’’ he said.

Nwankwo said the group also wanted INEC to put in place a transparent result collation process and commit to publishing the collation process not less than 15 days after the election.

He added that INEC should also ensure unfettered access by accredited observers and all party agents to collation centres, as well as non-participation of security agents in collation process at any level.

He said the group also called for efficient and accountable administration of the election asking that ballot paper design should exclude parties without candidates.

He said INEC should publicise and share plans for voting and security arrangements for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) around the country; and promote inclusiveness and enfranchisement for Persons with Disabilities (PWDs).

Nwankwo called on political parties to comply with election laws and regulations, shun hate speech and violence during campaigns and avoid perpetrating fraud, malpractice among others on Election Days.

He also urged political parties to train and deploy polling agents to represent them and commit to every stage of the election as well as commit to respecting the outcome of the general election.

Convener of Situation Room, Mr Clement Nwankwo, at the unveiling of the Situation Room Hub for the election in Abuja, said, the threshold document contains the criteria to be followed for the election to be regarded as credible. 

Nwankwo said the document contains a set of conditions that INEC, security agencies, political parties and state institutions must fulfill to give credibility to electoral process.

“Situation Room demands that INEC must ensure that there is absence of multiple registrations, removal of under-aged and deceased voters in collaboration with the National Population Commission.

“INEC should also ensure alignment between election data and demographic data; keep timely adherence to guidelines for display of Voters’ Register and give voters sufficient time to verify their details.

“There is need for audit of Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVCs) collection process and rate, uncollected cards, and protocol for storage and protection.

“INEC must also publicise the reforms it has made regarding malfunctioning of Smart Card Reader (SCR), during the accreditation and voting procedure.

“It should also make a commitment to a special audit in the event of a five per cent card reader incidence failure,’’ he said.

Nwankwo said the group also wanted INEC to put in place a transparent result collation process and commit to publishing the collation process not less than 15 days after the election.

He added that INEC should also ensure unfettered access by accredited observers and all party agents to collation centres, as well as non-participation of security agents in collation process at any level.

He said the group also called for efficient and accountable administration of the election asking that ballot paper design should exclude parties without candidates.

He said INEC should publicise and share plans for voting and security arrangements for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) around the country; and promote inclusiveness and enfranchisement for Persons with Disabilities (PWDs).

Nwankwo called on political parties to comply with election laws and regulations, shun hate speech and violence during campaigns and avoid perpetrating fraud, malpractice among others on Election Days.

He also urged political parties to train and deploy polling agents to represent them and commit to every stage of the election as well as commit to respecting the outcome of the general election.


Foundation organises forum to

This will also provide opportunities for the civil populace to raise their security, human rights, and accountability concerns with the representatives from the military and para-military agencies in the zone.

The Executive Director of CLEEN

According to him, the forum is also meant to dialogue between state’s security actors and civilians are all part of the framework for better civil-military relations that enhance trust, accountability, respect for human rights and the sustenance of our democracy. 

According to him, it is worthy of note that Military’s presence in more than 30 states of the federation is active through various internal security operations in response to the growing internal insecurities that we are faced with as a nation. 

The Accountability Forum on Civil Military Relations is part of the project activities for the ‘Fostering Civil Military Relations’ Project and funded by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED). 

“FromOperation Lafiya Dole in the Northeast to Operation Sharan Daji, in the Northwest, Operation Awatse in the Southwest, Crocodile Smile in the South-South, to the famous Operation Python Dance in the South East 1, 2 and 3 (birthed to check robberies, kidnapping, cultism and secessionist agitation)Abubakar, 2017), it should be noted that the military is almost a permanent feature of our daily lives as civilians.

“These operations have come their own challenges in relations to human rights concerns hence the need for accountability forums for assessing military’s response to these complaints. 

“Accountability remains at the core of our democracy. As a result, enhancing the framework for effective oversight of the security agencies through improving the feedback process to citizens will improve the professionalism of security actors.

“The increased focus by Nigerians and the international community to spotlight the accountability mechanisms by security agencies for addressing citizens’ complaints are part of measures to instil public confidence and improve the doctrine of civilian control over the Armed Forces especially. 

“Existing internal accountability systems for taking complaints of civilians by the Army include the Human Rights Desk set up in 2016 within the Directorate of Civil Military Affairs inthe Army and the Call Centre to receive complaints against Army personnel. 

“The Air Force and the Navy also have within themselves systems for receiving complaints from the public on the conduct of their officers. Within the Nigerian Police is the Public Complaints Rapid Response Unit (PCRRU) set up in 2015 to receive complaints from the public and other existing platforms. 

Women group under the umbrella of the All Progressives Grand Alliance Women for Good Governance (APGAWGG), commends Chief Victor Umeh for his effective and progressive representation of Anambra Central Senatorial Zone in particular, and Ndigbo in general, in the 8thSenate of the country .

The women further said no vacancy in Anambra Central Senatorial seat for any person aspiring for the position.

National Coordinator, APGA Women for Good Governance, Mrs Grace Chike in a press statement issued in Abuja, said, they are proud  of the numerous achievements of Senator Victor Umeh in the past one year after he recovered his stolen mandate in the March 28th, 2015 senatorial poll.

“APGA women have commenced voter education, mobilization and campaign for his re-election. We call on the good people of Anambra Central to collect their permanent voter cards and ensure that they massively vote for Senator Victor Umeh and all APGA candidates  in the February 16 and March 2, 2019 polls. Your vote is your power to elect credible candidates on the APGA platform.

“The need to vote APGA candidates cannot be overemphasized as the party has ruled the State since March 17, 2006.

“ Anambra State is APGA stronghold, the election of the party’s National Assembly and State House of Assembly candidates will further boost the existing synergy between the Governor, Dr. Willie Obiano and Federal and State legislators in consolidating democracy and good governance in the state.

“Anambra Central, Anambra State and the South East are proud of their illustrous son, Senator Victor Umeh, who within one year as a Senator of the Federal Republic has changed the narrative and conduct of legislative duties in  the Senate.

“This paradigm shift is essential in deepening our frail democracy as it guarantees  equity, fairness and unity in national governance.

“APGA Women lauded Senator Victor Umeh for his various legislative interventions that have given hope to the people of Anambra Central Senatorial Zone and Nigerians of a better prosperous democratic society. 

“It is heartwarming that we now have compassionate senators like Chief Victor Umeh who feels the pains of the masses and sponsor motions and bills to address them. 


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