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INEC berates observers over failure to submit election reports

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has expressed displeasure over failure of some accredited election observers to submit their report in the past general, off-cycle and re-run elections.

The Chairman of the Commission, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu disclosed this on Wednesday at the quarterly consultative meeting with the Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), in Abuja.

According to Yakubu, INEC has found some of the recommendations in the previous reports useful and appreciated the faithful election observers.

He however said the Commission will henceforth enforce “No Observation Report, No Accreditation” policy to checkmate the defaulters.

“I want to reassure you that INEC will continue to partner with Civil Society Organisations (CSOs). 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, 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,” Yakubu warned.

Speaking on the forthcoming governorship primary election in Ondo State, the INEC Chairman urged CSOs to engage political parties in order to strengthen inclusivity for women, youth and Persons with Disability.

“Turning to Ondo State, Political Parties will commence their primaries for the Governorship election in the next two weeks. Sixteen Political Parties have indicated interest in participating in the election. 

“I urge 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,” he noted.

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