A Non Governmental Organisation, Connected Development (CODE) on Tuesday advocated for conduct of mock elections by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in order to address “grey areas” ahead of 2023 elections.
CODE, an accredited observer of the 2019 general elections noted “that the electoral process was nearly marred by logistic challenge and there is a need for the conduct of mock elections in subsequent polls in Nigeria in order to reduce the incidences of logistic and other challenges in the electoral process.”
This was parts of the recommendations submitted by the Ogun state coordinator of CODE, Jamiu Folarin to the INEC after the conduct of the general election in the state.
While presenting the report at the debriefing of accredited observers at the INEC headquarters in Abeokuta on Tuesday, Folarin called for the integration of Nigerians data into all-in-one card to improve participation in the electoral process.
He argued that the experiences of the Presidential and National Assembly elections made it easy to improve on the Governorship and State Assembly elections.
Folarin said: “The lapses observed at the Presidential and National Assembly elections especially in area of logistics were corrected by INEC during the Governorship and National Assembly elections.
“This is the more reason why INEC should consider a mock election in subsequent polls starting from the 2023 general elections.
“In order to encourage larger percentage of eligible voters in the voters’ register and collection of PVCs, there is need for INEC to work with other related government agencies to synchronised Nigerians data in a one card that will enable holders to use it for multiple purposes such as voting, financial transactional, national identity e.t.c.”
Folarin also advocated amendment of the Electoral Act to allow for partial electronic voting “starting from 2023 general elections, INEC should experiment with partial implementation of electronic voting by allowing willing and some section of the voters’ population to vote electronically.”
Other recommendations of CODE as submitted to the INEC include: retaining the simultaneous accreditation and voting; transparency in electronic transmission of election data; prosecution of electoral offenders; improvement of welfare of INEC officials; continuous voters’ education and adequate information.