Party Primaries: INEC Charges CSOs to Submit Reports of Their Observation or Risk Being Blacklisted

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has charged the Civil Society Organisations to submit reports of their observation or risk been blacklisted from carrying out or requesting for election observers accreditation in future election in Nigeria.

The Chairman of the Commission, Professor Mahmood Yakubu gave this charge during the INEC’s first quarterly Consultative Meeting with CSOs on Wednesday, 20th March, 2024 at INEC headquarters, Abuja.

The INEC Boss who frowned at some of them who refused to bring forward their report said “it is mandatory. You either bring your report or risk not being accredited next time”.

He said, it is no longer business as usual, “I urged you, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) to engage with Political Parties and observe their primaries just as you engage with INEC and deploy observers to the main election conducted by the Commission. 

“By doing so, you will strengthen your advocacy for inclusivity for groups such as women, youths and Persons with Disability (PwD) that are under-represented in elective offices at National and State level.

“We appreciate the observations and recommendations contained in your election observation reports. Some of the reforms and innovations introduced by the Commission over the years draw from your observation reports. However, while many of you have submitted your reports, others are yet to do same, some accredited observers are yet to do so for the general election, supplementary elections, off-cycle elections, bye-elections and re-run elections. 

“May I therefore seize this opportunity to remind those that are yet to submit their observation reports that it is mandatory to do so being one of the conditions for eligibility to observe future elections. Going forward, the Commission will operate strictly on the policy of “No Observation Report, No Accreditation”, he declared.

The INEC boss however, promised to continue to partners with them. “I want to reassure you that INEC will continue to partner with Civil Society Organisations”, he said.

Responding on behalf of others. Mrs. Mufuliat Fijabi, Executive Director of Sustainable Gender Action Initiative agreed with INEC that other organisation that are yet to submit their reports should do so while also agreeing that subenission of report should be a criteria for further engagement. She commended the Commission for partnering effectively with members of the civil society in deepening the nation's democracy.

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