As part of preparations to evaluate the level of support required for a successful general election in Nigeria next year, a team of the United Nations has embarked on a Needs Assessment Mission (NAM) to organizations and groups which have roles to play in the election. The United Nations (UN) team, led by Mr. Serge
As part of preparations to evaluate the level of support required for a successful general election in Nigeria next year, a team of the United Nations has embarked on a Needs Assessment Mission (NAM) to organizations and groups which have roles to play in the election.
The United Nations (UN) team, led by Mr. Serge G. Kubwimana, who is of the UN Electoral Assistance Division, noted that in conducting the Needs Assessment, the UN would work with relevant stakeholders including the security, political parties, Civil Society Organisations, women organizations as well as People Living with Disabilities (PLWDs). The team has already visited the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the leading opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)
Speaking during its visit to the Chairman of the Independent Nigeria Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Mahmood Yakubu, the Team Leader of the Needs Assessment Mission (NAM) said the UN would take into account the overall context of Nigeria’s election election, including the political, social, economic and human environment in its assessment.
Mr. Kubwimana said: “This team has been deployed from the UN headquarters in New York. It’s a mission that has been deployed in response to request on electoral system support from the chairperson of INEC. And, to determine the areas of support, we conduct this type of mission and the overall context at which the election is taking place; the political violence, security and the like, the legal framework, the capacity and needs of the electoral management body.
Welcoming the team to its headquarters, the INEC boss thanked the team for the visit and for UN’s contributions over the years in providing critical support to the electoral body in introducing reforms and in the sustenance of such reforms in the electoral system in Nigeria. He further reinstated the Commission’s commitment to the consolidation of democracy in Nigeria by conducting free, fair and credible elections.
Specifically, Prof Yakubu said INEC required technical support in form of capacity building, electoral conflict mitigation and inclusiveness; particularly of women, youths and persons living with disabilities.
Giving assurances that the INEC was on course to deepening democracy in Nigeria, the Chairman said INEC has registered 74 million voters while the number of registered political parties stood at 68, while it is processing another 90 applications of groups seeking registration as political parties.
Enumerating some of the electoral reforms that have taken place in recent past, the INEC boss listed operational procedures, changing in voting procedures, enhancing the physical security features on ballot papers, ballot boxes and result sheets. Others include reorganization of the Commission’s administrative structures, capacity building and professionalism for staff, introduction of technology such as biometric registration and authentication process (Permanent Voter Card and Smart Card Reader), collation and election management as well as trafficking and monitoring of electoral activities.
Speaking during the Team’s visit to the leading opposition, Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP), Mr. Kubwimana said ‘our assessment cannot be done without interacting with the main stakeholders, obviously INEC, CSOs, political parties and some of the key institutions: the judiciary and the National Assembly.