By Stephen Adeleye
A Civil Society Organisation, Conscience for Human Rights and Conflict Resolution (CHRCR), has urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to improve on its enlightenment and stakeholders’ mobilisation at the state level.
The Executive Director of CHRCR, Idris Miliki, made the call on Wednesday in Lokoja, at the stakeholders’ meeting of ”Post Primaries Engaging Political Parties on Priotising Anti-Corruption and Accountability Issues towards 2023 Elections at the State level”.
Miliki, in a communiqué issued after the meeting which had in attendance all political parties and media practitioners, also enjoined political parties to mainstream anti-corruption into their manifestos and campaign messages.
He stressed the need for INEC to improve on its enlightenment and stakeholders’ mobilization on its activities at state level to encourage citizens’ confidence and participation.
He also urged the political parties to increase Voters’ Education especially before elections to ensure adequate awareness creation on the electoral process.
The communique condemned the alleged outrageous expenses and monetisation that characterized the recent party primaries held across the country.
He also advised the media to increase their reportage and investigation on Corruption and Accountability issues in government and non-governmental entities.
The CHRCR executive director further called for more proactive measures by anti-corruption agencies in timely investigation and prosecution of political and election offenders.
He urged relevant institutions to hasten the process of establishing Electoral Offences Commission to punish electoral offenders.
”Political parties must endeavor to practice improved internal democracy especially during the conduct of their primaries, conventions and all other elections.
”There must be strategically designed, issue-based primaries to elect candidates in political parties to reduce the influence of money politics that leads to corruption.
”Genuine effort must be put in place to reduce the high level of poverty in the society to discourage people from embarking on corrupt tendencies particularly on elections,” he said.
Miliki urged all eligible citizens to participate in the electoral process by registering and obtaining their Permanent Voter Cards, especially during the ongoing registration process by INEC before the 2023 elections.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the meeting was organised by CHRCR in partnership with Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), supported by MacArthur Foundation.
Miliki emphasised that the goal of CHRCR was to institutionalize Anti-corruption, Transparency and Accountability in Nigeria by ensuring necessary political commitment.
NAN reports that the state’s Chairmen and representatives of various political parties recognized by INEC were present at the meeting except that of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC). (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Ifeyinwa Okonkwo/Isaac Aregbesola