Participants of a two-day meeting organized by the Nigerian Political Science Association (NPSA), have called for the unbundling of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to improve its efficiency.
At the meeting which held in AAbuja at the weekend, a political scientist and former NPSA President, Professor Sam Egwu, also said the adoption of technology to assist in improving the conduct of polls.
Egwu said when it comes to elections stakeholders are always in for a long haul, adding that in standard language an election should approximate the will of the people.
He said: “We have increased acceptance of the outcome, and in many instances losers, admitting they have lost and congratulating the winners. Then at some point also we have seen a remarkable and dramatic decrease in the number of litigations that have come out of elections.
“And one of them which ring the bell up to today is the need to unbundle INEC for a country of this size of this magnitude of demographic, you know, and all the levels of difference you have to deal with, you know, to say look, why can’t you have a slim organization that devotes a substantial amount of his time to conducting the election, harvesting all national energies and engaging stakeholders to do so.
“While some important aspects that can derail INEC focus, it can be handed over to other bodies. This country needs a commission dedicated to electoral offenses. We need another body, for example, that can handle party registration and all the governance of political parties. Because the strength of any democracy is a reflection of the strength of the party system. The health of any democracy is a reflection of the health of that party system”.
On his part, NPSA President, Professor Hassan Saliu who read the communique on behalf of the group said, “One of the recommendations that we have made is that registration for voting should be merged with civic registration and a single identity card issued.
“On political party and party system reform, the group recommended that parties must comply with their party ideology, guidelines, and principles and also shun violence, vote buying, and vote suppression.
“Political parties should support party primary to include women, youth, and people with disability and inculcate the spirit of internal democracy,” he said.
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