INEC unveils six-year plan towards successful 2015, future polls

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attahiru_jegaThe Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Abuja on Wednesday unveiled its six-year strategic plan toward successful general elections in 2015 and beyond.

Prof. Attahiru Jega, INEC Chairman, who unveiled the plan, said it was a practical guide for the commission to achieve its mandate.

Jega said the lessons of the past had helped the commission to prepare for the 2015 and future elections.

“I am confident that the strategic plan will help the commission to manage electoral process, plan for change, adapt process based on new information and changing political environments,’’ he added.

He said his team had done a lot to reposition the commission in order to respond to emerging challenges.

“This includes strategic planning process, reorganisation process which has been completed and about to commence its implementation,’’ he said.

He expressed delight that there was general acceptability of outcome of elections organised by the commission even as INEC had not got to the level of perfection.

“When we came in to conduct the 2011 elections, we tried to work on what is available because there is no clear working plan, and now that we have enough time, we have produced a strategic plan and programme of action that would take us up to the next five years.

“This will also guide us to conduct a better election in 2015,” he added.

Jega pointed out that the commission’s major challenge was the issue of constituency delimitation between now and 2015.

He said that the commission was making deliberate efforts toward reviewing the constituencies in order to eliminate, or at least reduce to a minimum level the current imbalances.

“We are doing the exercise in accordance with Section 73 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as INEC is empowered to review the constituencies after an interval of no less than 10 years,’’ he said.

Jega said that because the exercise had been put on hold for long, INEC had to create additional polling booths during the 2011 general elections and some other elections at the state level, aimed at decongesting the existing polling units.

He said the exercise had become necessary because there had been demographic shift in some parts of the country, occasioned by issues such as religious crisis, natural disasters or population explosion.

It could be recalled that a similar exercise was conducted five years ago through which 120,000 polling booths were created for the conduct of the 2007 and 2011 general elections.

He said the continuous voter registration was another challenge, but expressed the hope that the commission would begin the exercise by the third quarter of 2013.

Jega noted that the understanding of the National Assembly and the presidency had made its operations to get adequate funding.

Political parties, civil society organisations and multi-national agencies attended the event.

 

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