INEC DIALOGUE WITH CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANISATIONS
Within the European Union Support to Democratic Governance in Nigeria (EU-SDGN) programme, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) with technical assistance from the European Centre for Electoral Support (ECES) organised a dialogue with Civil Society Organisations (CSOs). This activity held on the 5 November 2018 at the Maxbe Continental Hotel, Industrial layout, Enugu, Nigeria.
In Nigeria, CSO support in election management cannot be over emphasized. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) recognizes that CSOs as key stakeholders have played instrumental roles in the success stories recorded. The support from CSOs strengthened the Commission’s non-partisan status and reinforced the resolve to create a level playing field for all political parties and contestants in the political process.
The active participation of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) has been acknowledged as a very significant element in deepening and consolidating democracy worldwide. CSOs have applied political pressure for reform, expanding the realm of citizens’ participation in the political process and increasing transparency and accountability in government. CSOs have also actively supported processes and institutions of political and electoral reforms in particular, and in expanding inclusiveness in the electoral process thereby ensuring a greater degree of integrity. All these have immensely contributed to the organization and conduct of free, fair and credible elections.
The Civil Society Organizations advocate for Electoral Reforms, media sensitivity, mobilizes citizen participation, observe and report elections that have bring improvement in the entire processes.
It is in recognition of the enormous contributions of CSO in deepening the election process and the expectations of greater collaborations towards 2019 General Elections that INEC-CSO Strategy Dialogue was important to have their input to galvanize greater citizen participation through divers’ programmes and activities.
The objective of the dialogue were;
- To examine what role civil society can play to improve the conduct of elections as we move towards 2019 General Elections.
- To facilitate discussions and share information on existing and emerging trends toward better outcomes in the 2019 General Elections
The event featured paper presentations on ‘Emerging issues and priority for 2019 General Elections’ and ‘The Role of CSOs in achieving free, fair, credible and peaceful 2019 General Elections. This will be followed by interactive session.
At the end of the event, the following key results were achieved;
i) Development of strategy to achieve free, fair and credible election.
ii) Increased knowledge and understanding of INEC preparedness and participant’s perspective of emerging trends.
Participants at this very important dialogue with the Commission included INEC National Commissioner and Chair, Information and Voter Education Committee (IVEC), Barr. Festus Okoye, INEC Director of Voter Education and Publicity, Barr. Oluwole Osazi-Uzzi, other Senior Management staff of the Commission and representatives from over 75 CSOs across the Southern states of Nigeria.