Thursday, 25 June 2015

Jega recommends election management tools for African countries

Attahiru Jega
The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof. Attahiru Jega, said on Wednesday that he supported the introduction of Election Risk Management tools in the management of elections in other African countries.

The ERM tool was used by INEC for the 2015 general elections, Jega said.

“That tool has enabled us to do electoral risk mapping to generate data and do analysis to support a range of activities targeted at either mitigating risks or taking proactive measures in ensuring the conduct of free, fair, credible and especially peaceful elections,” he said. Continue.....

The INEC chairman said this at a workshop on ERM post-elections analysis, organised by the electoral commission, in collaboration with the International Institute for Democracy and the African Union.

The workshop held at the INEC’s Electoral Institute, Abuja.

While encouraging the use of the ERM tool due to its effectiveness, Jega expressed INEC’s readiness “to share experiences and willingness to participate in whatever role it can, in order to ensure utilisation of its objective in expanding the organisation of the tool in the African continent.”

He thanked the Embassy of the Netherlands, the African Union and the International IDEA for their support in the deployment of the tool and the successful conduct of the 2015 general elections.

He urged participants at the workshop to contribute ideas in terms of how to continually improve the framework and the methodology for preventing conflicts and violence in elections.

At the event, the International IDEA Africa Programme representative, Prof. Adebayo Olukoshi, commended the INEC chairman for his exemplary leadership qualities and for “raising the face of the country.”

Olukoshi urged that the Nigerian experience be used as a template to share with other African countries.

Also, the representative of the Embassy of the Netherlands, Maurice Paulson, described the 2015 general elections in Nigeria as peaceful. He also commended Jega for the success of the elections.

Paulson however stressed the role of the deployment of the ERM tool in mitigating violence during the elections, adding that his country would encourage its deployment in other African countries.

Meanwhile, Jega has promised to clear the backlog of promotions at the commission before the expiration of his tenure at the end of June.

The INEC boss was however quoted in the commission’s bulletin, a copy of which was obtained by our correspondent on Wednesday, as saying that there would be no room for any “automatic promotion.”

Jega also said that states which did not create or activate the Registration Area Centres during the last general elections would be made to account for their inability.

He warned against reverting to what obtained in the past when Resident Electoral Commissioners and Electoral Officers returned election outcomes, insisting that “remarkable improvement was brought to the process” by appointing Returning Officers outside INEC.

He observed that the burden on RECs and EOs during elections was too much and further saddling them with the task of returning election results tended to make them prone to mistakes.

“The strain is too much. They are not superhuman and they will make mistakes,” Jega was quoted as saying.

Source: Punch

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