YIAGA Africa Castigates Process, Integrity Of Elections By State Electoral Bodies


BY UKANDI ODEY, JOS – YIAGA Africa, a pro-democracy, elections monitoring non-governmental organisation, has declared that the practice in which some States’ Independent Electoral Commissions announce results while elections are still going on with voters in the queues is totally unacceptable and undemocratic as such results do not reflect the will of the people and their aspirations.

This was as YIAGA Africa specifically tasked the Plateau State Independent Election Commission (PLASIEC), to ensure that the elections it conducts pass electoral integrity test.

Speaking during an advocacy visit to the PLASIEC headquarters in Jos, Mr Samson Itodo, Executive Director of YIAGA Africa, urged the newly appointed members of the commission to work towards ensuring that elections are held as at when due as well as make sure that every election they conduct is transparent and acceptable to the people.

While congratulating the commission members for their appointments, Itodo

The YIAGA Executive Director, challenged PLASIEC and other States electoral commissions to ensure that all elections they conduct are credible, stressing that electoral credibility means popular participation in the election process, culminating in massive turnout of voters on election day, counting the votes as cast by the voters, and declaring the result that captures how the people voted and who they voted for.

Itodo also said YIAGA AFRICA supports the establishment and continued existence of states Independent Electoral Commissions thus, rejected calls in certain quarters and high places canvassing the scrapping of the State Electoral bodies, saying that scrapping the State Electoral bodies contradicts the objective of autonomy for the Local Government system.

In the words of Itodo; “A situation where states Independent Elections Commission conduct elections and only the party in power wins all the seats is suspicious, objectionable, and condemnable. It is better for the State Electoral Commissions to exist to reduce the workload of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) which is already crying of system overload.

“What needs to be done is to put a framework for the funding and staffing of the states’ Election Commissions to enable them to have genuine independence. This will enhance the position and ability to deliver free, fair, and credible elections,” he said.

In his remarks, Chairman of the PLASIEC, Plangji Cishak, expressed the willingness of the commission as presently constituted, to live above board, by conducting elections that will allay the fears and suspicions in certain quarters by being truly inclusive, participatory, capture and reflect the interests of the people.

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