The Electoral Hub (TEH) has urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to ensure that the two newly created departments of Voter Education and Publicity Department (VEP), and the Gender and Inclusivity Department (GID), are given clearer delineation of functions to prevent the bottleneck that led to their creation in the first place.
The Team Leader, TEH, an organ of the Initiative for Research, Innovation and Advocacy in Development (IRIAD), Princess Hamman-Obels, said on Tuesday in Abuja, in a statement, that the Voter Education, Publicity, Gender and Civil Society Liaison Department (VEP) had previously been saddled with too many responsibilities, resulting in a poor state of electoral inclusion.
She, however, commended INEC for the development, saying the organisation had earlier recommended in such in their publication ‘The Imperative for a Department of Electoral Inclusion in INEC’ and electoral advisory ‘Electoral Hub Recommendations to INEC’.
“We believe that the GID will provide room for deeper engagement and inclusion of women, youth, PWDs, IDPs, and other marginalized groups in the electoral process. This should uphold the fundamental principles of participation, inclusion, and representation on which a healthy representative democracy is based.
“While hoping the purpose of the newly established department will also promote and increase the integrity and credibility of our electoral process, we call on INEC to review other recommendations in the advisory.
“These include uploading results sheets at ward, local government and state levels to the results viewing portal, uploading electoral data and materials on INEC’s website, enforcing COVID-19 protocols during elections, providing support to State Independent Electoral Commissions (SIECs), and deepening engagement with other stakeholders,” she said.
Hamman-Obels added that ahead of the 2023 elections, the organisation believe that these recommendations will help to further strengthen the integrity and credibility of the nation’s electoral process.