By Diana Omueza
Cleen Foundation, a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), has urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to improve on the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) and other logistics.
Mrs Ruth Olofin, Acting Executive Director of the foundation, said this on Tuesday in Abuja at a news conference to review the Nov. 6 Anambra Governorship Election.
Olofin said that the improvement was necessary to ensure a more transparent and credible elections in future
She said that there was also a need for INEC to improve on its result portal through automation of sum of votes from political parties for purpose of transparency and accountability.
The official said that in spite of some improvements observed in the conduct of the Anambra governorship election by the INEC and security officials, there were still hitches that disrupted parts of the electoral process.
“In view of the observations during the election, we recommend the following to deepen the democratic process and improve election security management in the country and ahead of future off-cycle elections.
“INEC should improve on its logistics and operational processes associated with the BVAS in order to deliver more transparent and credible elections.
“INEC should conduct more awareness of the BVAS machines to sensitise voters in future elections.
“And the commission should train and retrain electoral officers and ad-hoc staff to enable them meet with the changing needs of the elections in the country,” she said.
Olofin further urged the commission to prosecute electoral offenders arrested during the Anambra polls to serve as deterrent to others.
She also urged the INEC to make provisions for inclusive electoral process in respect of Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) such as Braille for voters with visual impairment and other disability friendly and assistive devices.
The commission, the official said should dialogue with key stakeholders including traditional and religious leaders to encourage the electorate to turn out to vote and participate in electoral processes in future elections.
According to her, off-cycle elections in the country had of recent been characterized by low turn out of voters.
She appealed to political parties and politicians to work collectively to improve governance and to also maintain peace and be magnanimous in victory.
The group’s executive director urged the media to desist from production of sensational headlines and hate speeches that could contribute to increased tension before, during and after elections.
Olofin urged journalists to remain professionals, neutral and non-partisan in the discharge of their duties by verifying and fact-checking all information received before publishing.(NAN)