Strong, competent institutions key to electoral stability – USIP

Senior Fellow, United States Institute of Peace (USIP), Mr. Aly Verjee, has described the establishment of a strong, virile and competent democratic institution as key to sustaining peace and stability in the present democratic dispensation.
Speaking at the formal presentation of USIP’s Electoral Violence Risk Assessment Research, held at Mambayya House, Kano yesterday, Verjee also drew the attention of youths in the country to the danger of presenting themselves as cannon-fodders in the quest for self-centered political elite to manipulate the tide of events at their whims and caprices.
According to him, all political parties should work to strengthen systems of internal party democracy, educate their supporters and publicly denounce members who engage in hate speech or acts of violence, adding that a special responsibility falls on the ruling APC to resolve inter party disputes.
He also stressed the need for action on the part of the federal government and the National Assembly to consider re-introducing the constitutional amendment to abolish State Independent Electoral Commission and vest responsibility of all elections in the Independent National Electoral Commissions and pass the pending bill to create specialised electoral offences commissions, to investigate and prosecute electoral offenders.
He however stated that INEC should implement more assertive, dynamic far reaching public relations strategy to communicate with voters, the media, and political parties, during and post elections, including a transparent approach to the release of election results.
Speaking in the same vein, the immediate past chairman of INEC, Prof.
Attahiru Jega said establishing competent and credible democratic institutions in the country had become necessary for the issue of violence to be tackled decisively, adding that a lot of water had passed under the bridge as far as election violence was concerned.

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