Ahead of the November 11 governorship election in Bayelsa, Imo and Kogi states, the Inter Party Advisory Council (IPAC) on Tuesday said the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) must continue to demonstrate impartiality and transparency to reaffirm citizens’ confidence.
IPAC National Chairman, Yabagi Sani, stated this in Abuja at the INEC Quarterly Consultative Meeting with leaders of political parties.
He said the 2023 general election presented the country with numerous controversies, leading to enormous challenges in the electoral processes.
The IPAC chairman stressed that there was no doubt that INEC was showing its best efforts in its preparations despite obvious encumbrances.
He stressed that a lot more needs to be done to ensure that elections in Nigeria are hitch-free, credible and substantially comply with the provisions of the controversial 2022 Electoral Act.
Yabagi noted that it was, therefore, essential for INEC, as the custodian of democracy, to address this issue comprehensively.
He said, “To reaffirm citizens’ confidence, INEC must continue to demonstrate impartiality, transparency, and a commitment to conducting free, fair, and credible elections.
“This is not only a moral imperative but a necessary step towards preserving the integrity of our democratic system.”
Yabagi challenged INEC to work diligently in persuading the security agencies to play by the rules of engagement and resist the temptation of being used by desperate politicians.
He stressed that the involvement of security agencies in the electoral process, when it becomes unavailable, must be based on professionalism, neutrality, and a commitment to the defence of democracy, rather than partisan interests.
The IPAC chairman added that it was also important that INEC ensures the timely and secure delivery of both sensitive and non-sensitive electoral materials to the States.
He pointed out that delays or mishandling of these materials could lead to suspicion and undermine the credibility of the entire election.