The Independent National Electoral Commission has espoused the importance of international and local observers to the electoral process but urged them to eschew partisanship and adopt good conduct while discharging their duties on elections day, even there are fresh facts to believe the Commission has received cash to fund its operations from the CBN. There
The Independent National Electoral Commission has espoused the importance of international and local observers to the electoral process but urged them to eschew partisanship and adopt good conduct while discharging their duties on elections day, even there are fresh facts to believe the Commission has received cash to fund its operations from the CBN.
There had been apprehension over the inability of INEC to get cash from the CBN even though its budget is a first-line charge. This was a result of the cashless policy introduced by the CBN with the support of the federal government. Feelers from Oyo State is that the Independent National Electoral Commission in Oyo has secured cash from the Central Bank of Nigeria to conduct free and fair elections in the state, an INEC official disclosed on Tuesday.
The Oyo State Resident Electoral Commissioner of the INEC, Adeniran Teller, made this announcement in Ibadan on Tuesday, while featuring on the guest platform of the Correspondents’ Chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Oyo State Council themed ‘Speak Out’. INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmud Yakubu, during a visit to CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele at the wake of the introduction of the Naira redesign policy said they needed cash rather than bank transfers to sort out many of their activities.
Buoyed by the confidence that elections would go on as scheduled, the INEC boss on Tuesday during a meeting with the international and local elections observers who will be in the field for the general elections on Saturday 25th, 2023, acknowledged the significance of the observers in the progress of the country’s democracy.
Highlighting the contributions of election observers in the past elections in the country, the INEC boss stated that through the reports and recommendations of their observations, the commission has noted its strengths and weaknesses.
Professor Mahmoud further noted that the commission had accredited 229 groups that will be deploying 146,913 international and local observers, which is the largest in the history of Nigeria’s elections.
In that respect, he further urged the observers to keep up with good international practices and respect the sovereignty of Nigeria’s democratic process by adhering to the code of conduct for election observation.
“In line with global good practice, electoral commissions in most jurisdictions invite national & international organisations to deploy observers or organise study tours for election managers during elections
“As a consequence, observers submit reports to electoral commissions highlighting the strengths and weaknesses of processes. Arising from study tours, election managers also learn from other jurisdictions.
“The reports and recommendations of observers and the knowledge from the study tours help electoral commissions progressively improve processes. The progressive improvement in our electoral democracy since 1999 draws in part from the reports of observers and the study tours. That is why over the years, the Commission has sent open or specific invitations to national and international observers.
“The implication is that all accredited observers are guests of INEC. For the general elections beginning this weekend with the Presidential & Nat. Assembly elections, INEC has accredited 196 national or domestic groups that are collectively deploying 144,800 observers.
The Commission accredited 33 international organisations deploying 2,113 observers. In all, 229 groups are deploying 146,913 observers for the 2023 general elections. This is the largest deployment of domestic and international observers in the history of elections in Nigeria.
“Today’s briefing for observers is in keeping with international good practice. I wish to remind observers that there is a code of conduct for election observation. You are by definition observers. Do not interfere with the process or show partisanship. In addition, international observers must be guided by the fact that the election is conducted by the Federal Republic of Nigeria whose sovereignty must be respected.