The Nigerian Civil Society Situation Room has declared that it is not proud of the 2019 general election conducted by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) across the country.
The body stated that the electoral umpire has set bad example for African countries with the conduct of the 2019 elections.
It observed that the 2019 elections deteriorated from what took place in 2015.
The convener of the group, Clement Nwankwo, stated this during an ‘Electoral Reform Roundtable” held in Abuja yesterday.
This was just as the electoral body said it has withdrawn about 70 Certificates of Return from those it issued it to initially and re-issued it to other people following various court judgements.
According to him, the essence of the roundtable was to look at the last elections critically and take correction where necessary.
Nwankwo said: “Both foreign and local observers have filed in their reports on the last election. The intention of the observers is to highlight the merits and demerits of the electoral process, with a bid to moving forward.
“Nobody wants to put Nigeria in a bad light or cast aspersion on the electoral body. If anything is wrong, as Nigerians, we all have obligations to say it, and if it is right, we also have the responsibility to say it the way it is.
“We are concerned with what we saw in our observation during the last election. It has deteriorated to what it was in 2015.
“Nigeria as the giant of Africa has the responsibility to be a good example, but we are setting bad example for the continent with the 2019 elections.
“If we can’t organize election that is credible, there will always be an issue. With that, we cannot say that we are a democratic nation.
“We are not proud of the 2019 elections; resources were wasted, election was postponed about five hours to commencement. These did not help our democracy.
“The good thing is that the reaction from INEC to the reports shows that they will look into it and act on it appropriately.
“Election reform should promptly be looked into by the Ninth Assembly. The leadership of the National Assembly should persuade the President to sign the electoral bill. New issues should also be looked into.”
In his speech, the President, Kofi Anan Foundation, Alan Doss, noted that it is a thing of joy that June 12 has been recognised as democracy day.
He, however, pleaded with the leaders to deliver the democratic dividends to the led and that the electoral process should be transparent.
The INEC Commissioner on Information and Voter Awareness, Festus Okoye, who represented the chairman, stated that the electoral body had begun a review of the process leading to the 2019 elections.
“One of the biggest challenges of INEC is the number of pre-election cases. There are 809 pre-election cases, while we have 800 post-election cases.
“INEC has withdrawn about 70 Certificates of Return earlier issued to winners which court later reversed.
“This is caused by not too transparent primary election conducted by political parties.”
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