Friday, 2 September 2016

Address by Mr. Abiodun Ajijola, National Coordinator Election Monitor on the occasion of the public presentation of the 2016 Edo State Governorship Election Observation and Research Guide at Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Centre, Abuja on the 1st September 2016.

Address by Mr. Abiodun Ajijola, National Coordinator Election Monitor on the occasion of the public presentation of the 2016 Edo State Governorship Election Observation and Research Guide at Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Centre, Abuja on the 1st September 2016.

It is with profound gratitude to Almighty God that I make this address. I wish to recognize all dignitaries and speakers that have taken out of their busy schedules to grace this occasion. I also thank all participants who have put aside one thing or the other to attend this event. For all those who came from outside Abuja, I am especially grateful.  A special thanks to the Election Monitor team which has worked assiduously to make this happen.

As Nigeria prepares for another round of critical elections in Edo and Ondo States it is pertinent that all efforts are put on deck to make these elections better than previous elections. It is hoped that many lessons should have be learnt from the plethora of conducted elections in the past one year and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is encouraged to ensure that it makes every effort to implement recommendations arising from these elections.

Some areas of key importance for INEC are as follows:

·         Ensuring consistent adherence to its guidelines on use of card readers. Manual accreditation should not be permitted.
·         All polling officers using card readers should be effectively and properly trained.
·         Logistics should be well addressed to ensure early arrival of electoral materials.
·         Education of the electorate of the effects of non-representation stemming from electoral violence.
·         Improvement of communication strategy especially through the media (traditional and social media).
·         Effective sanctions for political office holders and other highly placed individuals involved in Electoral violence. At least handing them over to the police for prosecution.
·         Simultaneous accreditation and voting guidelines modification
o    Simultaneous definition –
o    1:  existing or occurring at the same time:  exactly coincident
o    2:  satisfied by the same values of the variables <simultaneous equations
o    For simultaneous accreditation and voting,
o    Total Accreditation = Total Votes Cast
o    It is recommended that the guidelines can be modified to reflect that any polling unit where there is a difference in these two figures, the presiding officer should make a written explanation as to why it is so.
o    If not defendable such polling unit should be cancelled because the approved guidelines and procedures for simultaneous accreditation and voting were not followed.
Media reports indicate that the Nigeria Police will deploy 23,000 officers for the Edo Governorship Election which is a welcome development. The key issue is not only the number of security personnel but also the impartiality and professional conduct of the officers while on electoral duty (welfare of the security agents is also key). However there is a need for INEC to appeal to the Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to intervene by providing very clear consequences for security operatives who are partisan and work against the conduct of peaceful elections irrespective of political affiliations. This is key because much of what is happening in some states where insecurity has not allowed the conclusion of the conduct of elections is a show of force of different political actors who have influence over security in different ways.

INEC needs to continue its development of the Nigerian electoral process by ensuring that it successfully achieves success in all areas within its control and appeals for support and/or intervention in areas outside its control.

Election Monitor's mission is to promote transparent electoral processes in Africa.

In line with this mission, Election Monitor has prepared this document to provide readers with some quality information that can enable them better understand and follow the 2016 Edo State Governorship Election. Election Monitor has prepared such documents in the past for previous elections. The three documents which make up this Observation and Research Guide are as follows:

1.     The Research Guide
2.     Governorship Election Update
3.     SWOT Analysis of the Candidates

The Election Monitor Pre-Election Research Guide is a document with a robust database of articles which have been digitised and indexed. These articles span from September 2014 to June 2016. They cover topics relating to the political developments in Edo state. It is our opinion that this database would serve as a very useful tool for observers of the electoral process especially domestic and international election observers and journalists who may need information on detailed current developments in the state to enable better pre-election observations. 

The Pre-Election Update is a document prepared to provide readers with basic background information about Edo state, which would provide a good foundation for understanding and following the forthcoming election. 

This SWOT Analysis of the candidates is prepared to provide a comparative analysis of the leading candidates of the 2016 Edo State Governorship Election. The methodology used for the comparison is the SWOT Analysis tool.

It is important to state that this publication is unbiased and not prepared in favour of any candidate or party. The cost of preparing this document was borne by Election Monitor.

It is the intention of Election Monitor that this document will support the efforts of information sharing and strengthening the quality of observation of the Nigerian electoral process.

Today we are publically presenting this unique tool with the belief that our efforts will ensure that adequate and proper observation of the 2016 Edo State election is achieved. For the sake of our nation and our unborn generations, it is pertinent that every stakeholder especially election observers support INEC to ensure that the 2016 Edo Governorship Election is transparent, free, fair, credible and hopefully conclusive on the first ballot.

Thank you all once again for attending this landmark event. I wish us all successful, impactful and fruitful deliberations. God Bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

1 comment:

  1. That is so nice of you to share the detailed agenda of the address. The president has been working hard for the benefit of people of Nigeria.