A group under the aegis of of Electoral Forum has advocated firm, consistent and uniform the Electoral Act 2022.
This was part of the recommendations of the group after its sixth technical session.
The Forum commended the Independent National Electoral Commission for the successful supervision of Ekiti and Osun States governorship elections.
The group said, “There is clear evidence that our elections are getting better although still challenged by vote-buying and selling. All stakeholders did better – INEC, security agencies, and the electorate. Voter mobilisation had improved with a higher turnout of 54.48 per cent turnout in relation to PVC collection.
“The Forum expressed concerns about vote buying and selling as well as the high number of rejected votes. For instance, 18,674 invalid votes/rejected votes were recorded during the Osun election.
“Further amendment of the Electoral Act is required in some key areas including the delegate selection process to ensure the quality of delegates, and address vote buying and selling, amongst others. INEC and CSOs should develop and promote a programme of education on the new Electoral Act so that both the voting public and other interested stakeholders have a full and much better understanding of the provisions of the Act.
“Firm, consistent, and uniform enforcement of the Electoral Act and INEC’s regulations and guidelines to ensure fairness and equity. INEC should ensure parties submit membership register and delegate lists (situations of indirect primaries) timely to enable proper verification of the names submitted. And only primaries monitored by INEC should be accepted.
“There is a need for the reform of the process of candidates’ emergence with a specific focus on the quality of delegates that would participate in the selection of candidates (party primaries). Beyond the election period, there is a need for a deeper and more regular public education on the Electoral Act INEC’s regulations and guidelines and the electoral procedures by INEC, parties, CSOs, and NOA.”
The Electoral Forum is an initiative of The Electoral Hub that pools resource persons from electoral management bodies together with other electoral stakeholders to conceptualise solutions to the unique problems facing electoral governance in Nigeria.
It is chaired by Prof. Adebayo Olukoshi and supported by the MacArthur Foundation and the Open Society Initiative for West Africa.
Participants at the forum seeking significant electoral reforms included Prof. Atahiru Jega, Mrs Amina Zakari, Prof Bayo Olukoshi, Prof Anthonia Simbine, Dr. Everest Amaefule, and Mr. Okechukwu Ndeche.