Why we’re conducting inconclusive elections - INEC - EazyFeeds

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Wednesday 27 July 2016

Why we’re conducting inconclusive elections - INEC

The Chairman of the In­dependent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Prof Mahmud Yakubu, has attributed inconclusive syn­drome in the country’s elections under his tenure to stiff com­petition occasioned by strong candidates, violence and inno­vations in the electoral process.
Yakubu spoke in Abuja at the Situation Room Dialogue with INEC officials and Nige­ria Police on Edo State Gov­ernorship Election organised by the Policy and Legal Advo­cacy Centre (PLAC) with the support of British Department for International Development (DFID). He warned politicians and their parties against infil­trating its staff members and ad-hoc officials of the commis­sion with the aim of manipulat­ing the electoral process in the forthcoming governorship elec­tion in Edo.

He said: “We have explained time and time again that the rea­sons for inconclusive elections are because of strong candi­dates, very tight margin. Be­cause of the innovations in our electoral process, it is difficult to have landslide that nobody could explain earlier. Now, we know exactly that most of the votes count irrespective of what happens out there.”
The INEC boss said that the commission had noticed that “the politics in Edo State is calm, so far so good. We have no course to believe it will be overheated but you can never tell what politicians can do, es­pecially as the stakes are high, the competition is very strong, the parties have nominated very strong candidates.
“In as much as this is good for democracy, it also gives INEC concern because certainly these are majorly the reasons for our inconclusive elections that keep on recurring. If any poll­ing unit is on the negative side, it is difficult to conclude election with the kind of candidates we have and the strength of the two parties,” he said.
Represented by INEC’s Na­tional Commissioner, Hajia Amina Zakari, Prof. Yakubu raised alarm over the extent pol­iticians go in their bid to corrupt electoral officers.
“What I will like to implore on the civil society organisations is to assist INEC to conduct more advocacy; to reach out to the people, particularly on vio­lence, and also on another issue that nobody really wants to talk about, and it is out there: the is­sue of politicians infiltrating our staff members, and even the ad-hoc personnel that we engage.”
According to him, INEC, the inter-agency consultative commission and security agen­cies have been committed to credible, fair, free, violent-free election in Edo.
The state’s Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Sam Ol­umekun, said that the greatest challenge for the forthcoming elections is security.
“INEC’s experience since the general elections of 2015 is that security may have been on the decline. I should therefore shout loudly that perhaps, the biggest challenge we face is that of security. We must try to bal­ance the imperative of secur­ing the electoral process with the need to allow voters unfet­tered opportunity to come out and cast their votes without any fear as a result of the presence of security personnel,” he said.
Rivers’ re-run postponement is in state’s interest, INEC in­sists
Meanwhile, INEC has said that its decision to postpone the River state national and state as­sembly elections was in the in­terest of the people of the state and Nigeria in general.
The commission said that it was compelled to suspend leg­islative elections, earlier sched­uled for Saturday to rising cas­es of violence, intimidation and the general atmosphere of fear in the areas where the elections will be conducted.
In a statement signed by IN­EC’s Secretary, Augusta Chin­we Ogakwu, the commission regretted that one of the earlier stipulated conditions for return to the state for the conclusion of the elections had not been met, despite widespread con­sultations with all major stake­holders.
Ogakwu said: “While the Commission reiterated its read­iness to conclude the outstand­ing elections, it also indicated its readiness to review and re­consider the suggested date as the security situation unfolds in the state.”
He explained that IN­EC’s decision was based on reports on periodic elector­al risk assessment by security agencies, relevant extra Min­istries Departments and Agen­cies (MDAs) and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), carried out in the three and a half weeks since the decision was reached to schedule the elections on Saturday at the National Stake­holders’ meeting held on the 30th of June, 2016 in Abuja.

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