By Ikechukwu Okaforadi
he Inter Party Advisory Council (IPAC) yesterday told the United Nations Electoral Needs Assessment Mission (NAM) that it will be an uphill task for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to hold the 2023 elections in areas affected by terrorism, insurgency and banditory.
National Secretary of IPAC, Yusuf Dantalle, who received the delegation at the National headquarters of IPAC, said the success of the 2023 general elections will be a defining moment for Nigerians, adding that citizens have desired and yearned for transformational, visionary and resourceful leaders who will restore Nigeria as the great arsenal of democracy in Africa.
To this end, the umbrella of all registered political parties in Nigeria, enjoined the United Nations delegation to assist Nigeria to crush all forms of terrorism and make the country safe for both citizens and foreigners, adding that democracy has come to stay in Nigeria, hence the need for assistance from all lovers of representative governance to sustain it.
Accito him, “The forthcoming general election is critical for the sustainable democracy in Nigeria. We are pleased that a delegation of the United Nations Electoral Needs Assessment Mission (NAM) led by Mr Serge Gakwandi Kubwimana is in Nigeria to have an on the spot assessment of our preparation for this critical general election.
“The success of the elections will be a defining moment for our fellow compatriots who desire and yearn for transformational, visionary, progressive, purposeful and resourceful leaders who will restore Nigeria as the great arsenal of democracy in Africa”, he said.
Speaking further, he Dantalle said IPAC played a key role in ensuring that the Electoral Act 2022 was passed by the Senate and signed by Presisdent Muhammadu Buhari, adding that the Act has improved the value to the electoral process with the adoption of an improved technology, the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) and uploading of election results in the INEC’s Result Viewing portal (IReV) when voting ends and votes are counted at polling units in election day among others.
While passing a vote of no confidence on the State Independent Electoral Commissions, the IPAC scribe said “Council will continue to engage stakeholders, particularly the National Assembly for further reform of the electoral process, including the scrapping of the State Independent Electoral Commissions (SIECs) as Nigerians have lost confidence in their ability to conduct free, fair, credible and inclusive elections at the grassroots level.
“Polls conducted by various SIECs in the country are mere charades with predetermined outcomes that make mockery of our democratic encounter. Accordingly, IPAC will boycott these electoral jamborees by State Governments in power, which have impeded the nation’s democratic advancement at the grassroots, and demand that their functions be carried out by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
“In view of this, IPAC supports Local Government autonomy as the third tier of government closest to the people. To sustain the gains of the recent electoral reforms, IPAC will need the assistance of the UN Electoral Needs Assistance Mission in capacity building of political party leaders to equip us for transformational leadership and enhance parties’ internal recruitment process which will produce credible leaders with the people’s mandate to govern”, he said.