April 30, 2018

FG reiterates commitment to credible election in 2019

Udoma, Japan

Udo Udoma

By Marie-Therese Nanlong

Jos – The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Sen. Udoma Udoma has reassured of the federal government’s desire to improve the Nigerian political system and produce a free and fair election in 2019 hence the conscious efforts in strengthening the strategic planning, policy framework and operational system of the Independent Electoral Commission, INEC.

Senator Udoma gave the assurance yesterday in Jos at the opening ceremony of a five-day Leadership and Conflict Management for Electoral Stakeholders organized for the Forum of State Independent Electoral Commissions of Nigeria, FOSIECON.

Udo Udoma

Represented by Mr. Adeniran Olukayode, a Director in the Ministry, the Minister explained that the training organized by the European Centre for Electoral Support, ECES seeks to support and build capacity of the States Independent Electoral Commission, SIEC to enable them conduct free and credible elections at the local government level.

According to him, “This training seeks to build their capacity to conduct credible elections and how well-implemented electoral process can bring about peaceful change of power and improve their leadership skills and take on board means for preventing and or mitigating the escalation of electoral violence and conflict throughout the respective electoral cycle.

Also, the Project Director of the European Centre for Electoral Support, ECES, Mr. David Le Notre, represented by a Senior Advisor, ECES, Joachim Baggnan stated that the support is to contribute to the reinforcement of democracy in Nigeria through building strong, effective and legitimate democratic institutions.

His words, “The objectives of the LEAD training are to strengthen the leadership capacities of electoral stakeholders, increase the level of confidence and self-awareness of electoral stakeholders and provide electoral stakeholders with the necessary tools to enhance dialogue development and dialogue-based decision making throughout the electoral cycle.”

However, the State Governor, Simon Lalong through his Deputy, Sonni Tyoden who declared the event opened noted that pre and post election violence have a way of eroding confidence in government, but strengthening democratic governance must begin with a credible, free, fair and acceptable electoral process.

He called on participants who are drawn from the 36 States and the FCT to “explore the opportunity to bring our country to conformity with international best practices and standards in the conduct of elections.”