Modify your processes for an acceptable outcome of March 11 polls – JDPC, CLP urges INEC

Modify your processes for an acceptable outcome of March 11 polls – JDPC, CLP urges INEC

March 2, 2023

Two civil society groups, the Justice Development and Peace Commission (JDPC) and the Community Life Project (CLP) on Wednesday presented a preliminary report on Saturday’s Presidential and National Assembly elections.

The groups, which were observers during the elections, presented the report at the JDPC centre, in Sabo Yaba, in Lagos, following a review of Saturday’s elections.

They identified some flaws in the exercise and asked the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to modify its processes for an acceptable outcome of the March 11 Governorship and House of Assembly polls across states.

The Director of JPDC, Lagos Rev. Fr. Raymond Anoliefo, said that the group deployed 272 observers for the Feb. 25 polls.

He said that before the election, the body was involved in monitoring the distribution of the Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) from Dec. 12, 2022 to Feb. 5, 2023.

The director said the turnout of voters at the polling booths was huge and an improvement on the previous elections.

He commended civil society groups  and the media for good voter education before the election.

According to him, a total of 87, 009, 008 PVCs were collected by eligible voters, which  was an improvement, though administrative lapses still caused many not able to get theirs.

“Most of the flaws of the election were human induced ones that could be prevented if the regulatory body recruited the right persons and trained them well for the project.

“The malfunction of the BVAS machine that failed to transmit election results when it was most needed cast doubt on the honesty of INEC and its ad hoc staff that manned those devices at the polls,” he said.

The priest encouraged Nigerians to prepare for the March 11 election to right the wrongs by coming out en masse to vote their conscience.

He said that the coming election was closer to the people, and urged the electoral body to be above board at the polls.

Ms. Ngozi Iwere, Executive Director, Community Life Project (CLP), said that Nigerians should not be deterred from participating in the leadership selection process.

Iwere faulted some of the dispositions of security operatives at the election, noting that a proper security network of elections would give people confidence in the process.

She decried the activities of thugs at polling units and urged the people to stand for their rights, calling on the police to protect the people always for a good society.

She noted that people with disability and pregnant women were given chance at polling units to cast their vote.

“We, as civil society, will engage INEC with many of the complaints people have made alongside the flaws observed during the election with a view to finding solutions to these.

“We are going to press it on the authorities to bring those involved in election fraud to book,” she said.

JDPC is a social arm of the Catholic Church that promotes good governance.(NAN)