The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said it will address identified challenges and lapses in the 2019 general elections and consolidate on the successes recorded to ensure it delivers credible, free and fair election in Kogi come November 16.
National Commissioner of INEC in charge of Kogi, Kwara and Nasarawa states, Malam Mohammed Haruna, gave the assurance yesterday in Lokoja while declaring open a one-day retreat on the 2019 state level post-election review in Kogi.
He said the essence of the retreat was to review the operational framework put in place by the commission in the last general elections to see where it got it wrong and make sure that such did not occur in future elections, especially the forthcoming elections in Kogi and Bayelsa.
He said the retreat would also provide platform for knowledge sharing amongst staff and key stakeholders in the LGAs and state level; as well as identify success factors in the election with a view to consolidating and sustaining them.
Mohammed identified logistics as one of the major challenges that confronted the last election, adding that the large number of registered political parties that took part in the last election made the entire process cumbersome for the commission.
He maintained that the current threshold as provided in the constitution for the registration of political parties in the country was so low that it was easy for anybody to form a political party.
“A clause for instance in the constitution says if somebody applies to register a political party and they don’t hear from INEC within a month, automatically they stand registered. That’s the problem we have. That means we have to go back to the constitution and see how we can review it,” he said.
Also speaking, INEC’s Resident Electoral Commissioner in Kogi, Prof James Apam identified security challenges as one of the major problems that faced the conduct of the last general elections in the state.
He, however, expressed optimism that the post-election review meeting and other subsequent stakeholders’ meetings would go a long way in proffering solutions that would ensure better outcome in the November 16 governorship election in the state.
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