The Independent National Electoral Commission ,INEC, has began a three-day workshop for electoral officers responsible for monitoring elections and political parties.
INEC is being supported by the European Centre for Electoral Support ,ECES, to train the staff on Party Management and Administration ahead of 2023 polls.
INEC’s Director, Election and Party Monitoring in Kaduna, Aminu Idris at the opening of the workshop on Monday, said that the participants were drawn from INEC offices in the 19 Northern states, adding that the workshop is to build the capacity of the staffs to effectively monitor political parties to improve the electoral process ahead of 2023 general polls.
He noted that proper monitoring of the activities of political parties, including congresses and primaries, would minimize litigation and internal crisis while stating that the participants would be introduced to new techniques for monitoring of political parties for a smooth electoral process in 2023.
Senior Project Officer, ECES, Sylvestre Somo,in a goodwill message, said that the workshop would improve the skills of INEC staff in monitoring election and political parties, to enhance the electoral process. He also said ECES promotes sustainable democratic development through the provision of advisory services, operational support and management of electoral and democracy processes across Asia, Middle East and Africa.
“The workshop which seeks to improve the skills of the staff of election and party monitoring department of INEC in political management, is another major step towards improving the Nigeria electoral process,”
Somo further explained that political parties, being primary stakeholders in the electoral process with the constitutional power to present candidates for elective offices and solicit votes during elections, needed to be monitored and be guided to ensure transparency.
“Political parties and candidates are expected to adhere to all the electoral procedures and laws, including the electoral code of conduct in order to reinforce the transparency and integrity of the electoral process. “Hence, the need to effectively monitor the parties and exercise required oversight functions as prescribed in the Constitution and the Electoral Act. “It is, therefore, a matter of consolation that this workshop has been put together to strengthen the capacity of the EMB staffs in political parties management and administration”
“It is our hope that the knowledge to be gained at this workshop will help in repositioning political parties to play effectively their role and contribute to the integrity and fairness of the electoral process,”
Somo also commended INEC for taking this bold initiative of putting in place this workshop especially at the crucial time when preparations for the 2023 elections will begin in earnest.
Meanwhile, INEC Acting Resident Electoral Commissioner ,REC, in Kaduna State, Awwal Mashi assured that the resource persons at the event would bring in new skills for better management of political parties.