Stakeholders seek autonomy for INEC, NOA
Stakeholders have said that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and National Orientation Agency (NOA) should be independent of the government to enable them to perform their duties effectively.
They noted that Nigeria is the only African country where its electoral body is funded by the government.
The stakeholders gave the charge, yesterday, during a special post-mortem roundtable on the 2023 elections organised by the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA) in Lagos.
Nigeria and Africa’s leading scholar of Electoral Administration and Politics, Prof. Adele Jinadu, said that the glitches experienced in the 2023 elections had been a recurrent feature since 1950s.
“There are rumours and indications that at the last minute, expatriates provided money for some political parties,” he said.
He stated that effective political governance alone does not guarantee good democratic system.
“Nigerians must wake up and take interest in politics if we want elections to be democratic,” he said.
Also, presidential candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), Adewole Adebayo, said that electoral body’s priority is not to determine who wins but to engage in election management.
“Second factor is political party. A political party is not interested in free and fair election but in winning. Inside the political party, it is the profession of some people not to resist free and fair election for financial gains.
“The third component is the government of the day. The media is also another factor as it is also a business. Election is a season where words became good money in the media.
Meanwhile, Director-General, NIIA, Prof. Eghosa Osaghae, said as an institute, its intellectual responsibility is to give an objective perspective of issues.