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2023 elections: INEC never received direct funding from devt. partners –Yakubu

2023 elections: INEC never received direct funding from devt. partners –Yakubu

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it did not receive any direct funding or cash support from international development partners for the conduct of 2023 general elections.

INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, made the clarification in Abuja on Monday, at the commission’s quarterly consultative meeting with the Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) on the ongoing review of the 2023 general elections.

Yakubu said that the clarification was important to correct the impression in some sections of the public that the commission received huge sums of money from development partners for the election.

“On the contrary, and for the avoidance of doubt, the commission did not receive any direct funding or cash support from international development partners.

“Rather, their support was totally indirect through civil society organisations and implementing partners working on elections.

“ Indeed, it has been a longstanding policy of the present commission not to receive direct funding and cash transfers from sources other than the Federal Government of Nigeria.

“We hope that we shall continue to have this type of productive partnership with civil society and development partners in the future,’’ Yakubu said.

The INEC Chairman, however, commended the CSOs and development partners for their enormous support to the commission during the general elections.

He said that the support came in the form of technical advice, civic and voter education, organisation of meetings and capacity-building workshops, as well as the publication of documents.

Yakubu, who disclosed that only 67 out of 228 observers group accredited to observe the election had so far submitted their reports to INEC, urging those yet to submit their reports to do so.

He said that the feedback INEC do receive from the observer groups and their actionable recommendations had been very helpful to the electoral process.

“For the 2023 General Elections, the Commission received 538 requests (504 domestic and 34 foreign) for accreditation as observers.

“ After a thorough evaluation of the requests, only 228 groups (190 domestic and 38 foreign) met the requirements for accreditation.

“However, so far, only 67 observer groups (62 domestic and five foreign) have so far submitted their observation reports which represents just about 30 per cent of the accredited groups for the election.

“We urge all accredited observer groups that are yet to submit their reports to do so in earnest,’’ he said.

Speaking on behalf of the CSOs, Mrs Faith Nwadishi of Centre for Transparency and Advocacy, urged accredited observers groups yet to submit their reports on 2023 general election to INEC to do so.

“ If 228 observer groups were accredited for the election and so many months after the election many groups are yet to submit our report, it is not good for us,’’ she said.

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Nwadishi said that the CSOs commended efforts by INEC to prosecute the suspended Resident Electoral Commissioner in Adamawa, while looking forward to the conclusion of the case.

“Also in your speech you recognised the role some INEC staff members played in undermining the elections. This is a very welcome development; we look forward to the prosecution of the indicted staff members,’’ she said.

Nwadishi said that the CSOs also look forward to a meeting of INEC with CSO and political parties, to discuss issue of political class who had always tried to undermine the electoral processes of the country.

She acknowledged the role of technology in the conduct of the 2023 general elections and the lapses experienced with its usage.

She said that the CSOs would love Yakubu to still speak on the technology glitches, especially failure of IREC in presidential election, in spite the matter was still before the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal.

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