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NCP cautions INEC on printing ballot papers outside Nigeria

Dr Yunisa Tanko, National Chairman, National Conscience Party, (NCP) on Monday cautioned INEC on the dangers in printing ballot papers outside the country.

Tanko told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja that ballot papers printed outside the country were always full of errors and were unpleasant to the electorates.

He said, “Most often, in ballot papers printed outside the country, names of contestants would be omitted, and these usually lead to delays during the elections.

“I believe INEC’s action was due to the syndrome of must win or win at all cost drive of our politicians through fraudulent ways.

“Yet, such printing can be handled within Nigeria under strict security.”

He advised INEC to invite all political parties for verification of their party logo before printing and also re-check before the final printing.

The chairman said that this would save INEC cost, embarrassment, litigation and time during the election exercise.

He said it had become imperative for the commission to look inward in the printing of ballot papers as this had been done successfully in some African countries.

“If this can work well in Ghana and with commitment, it will also work in Nigeria and save all stakeholders embarrassment.

“For this to be achieved, INEC need to apply trust in dealings with the various political parties that are involved,” he said.

Tanko urged INEC to guide against the omission of candidates’ names from the ballot paper as another election approaches.

He said, “This is associated with the filling system from the political parties and INEC. The volume of work is high and manpower to execute the job within the time frame is too short.”

The national chairman suggested adequate time frame for political parties to properly file in their candidate names and check their party logo on ballot papers.

Tanko advised that registration of voters should be completed a year before any major election and also do a review six months before the elections.

He urged INEC to come up with calendar of events for the nation’s elections and initiate a programme where political parties could engage the commission in regular interaction.

The national chairman said this would help both parties to have effective communication and good rapport where they could build confidence in the commission. (NAN)


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