Acting Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Amina Bala Zakari, has said that the achievements recorded in the 2015 general elections have not beclouded the Commission’s focus, pointing out that INEC was aware that several areas in the electoral process required improvement.
She made this known in her opening remarks yesterday at a workshop organized by the Commission on “post-election lessons learned” with accredited Observer groups held at Chelsea Hotel, Abuja.
The Acting Chairman who was represented by National Commissioner Ambassador Lawrence Nwuruku, disclosed that the Commission in a bid to improve on its 2015 outing, had “subjected the election to a thorough review through series of debriefing sessions with all the monitors deployed for the elections, review of the reports of the elections submitted by the state officers of the Commission as well as holding of a post election retreat with all the Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs), Directors and department heads with Commission members”.
She acknowledged that “Observers’ reports on the 2011 general elections were like guide book for the Commission’s preparations for the 2015 general elections”, adding that “the business of election observation no doubt is a critical one which requires professionalism”.
The Acting Chairman who expressed delight at the existing cordial relationship with domestic and foreign Observers, urged the participants at the workshop to brainstorm, share experiences on lessons learnt with special emphasis on pre- and post election activities in order to improve the quality of the electoral process.
“We are working together as a team in complementary manner to produce a comprehensive report that will guide the Commission in future elections. Let us all be a part of the solution. We must continue to succeed together,” she said.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Chairman of Election and Party Monitoring Committee, Ambassador Mohammed Ahmad Wali, reminded the participants that: “the conduct of election is a complex process and it involves many steps and no one step alone can ensure credibility and integrity”.
He lamented that out of 108 accredited domestic Observer groups, only 50 had submitted their reports so far, calling on the outstanding to endeavor to submit their reports and also contribute to strengthening the of the electoral process.
He assured the Observer groups that the outcome of the workshop would be factored into the Kogi and Bayelsa governorship elections scheduled for November and December 2015.