…as Initiative recommends secrecy of ballots ahead 2023

Adenrele Adebayo

The Chairman, Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Ekiti State Council, Comrade Rotimi Ojomoyela, has called on the amendment of Electoral laws to enable the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to act independently without the interference of the Presidency.

Ojomoyela stated this today in Ado Ekiti, during a Conference organised by Yiaga Africa, tagged: “Post-Election Reflection Meeting with Ekiti CSO Leaders”, meant to access Civil Society Organisations’ engagements, challenges, lessons, as well as opportunities encountered during the June 18 gubernatorial election.

He also added that the electioneering body should be given power by the Constitution of the Country to prosecute electoral offenders rather than waiting for Courts before dispensing justice.

In his words: “The new Electoral Law should be on how to make INEC fully independent, they have to stand on their own and conduct election independently without the interference of the Presidency.

INEC should also be given power to prosecute electoral offenders.

I think those are the only ways we can make it right.”

Post-Election Reflection Meeting

On his part, a Board Member of Yiaga Africa, Ezenwa Nwagwu, called on INEC to build Cubicles in a way to ensure secrecy of ballots at all polling units ahead the 2023 general elections.

He also lamented on the non availability of necessary logistics, which were not deployed in Ekiti State for Persons living with disabilities (PWDs) in terms of Magnifying glasses for Albinos, and the required gadgets for the ear impaired people.

While addressing the Civil Society Organisations, he implored them to imbibe in the use of correct language of engagement so that people can trust them and the Electoral process.

“The issue about the secrecy of ballot by positioning Cubicle in polling stations in non condusive places, those are the issues that were looked at.”

“The challenges is that people living with disabilities complained that lack of assisting materials especially as Albinos, sight impaired people, there were no no logistics like Magnifying glasses and the rest.”

“Another way forward is continuous engagement, we need more reflective meetings for civil societies to look at how we can improve on our work and ensure that we imbibe the correct language of engagement so that people can believe us and have confidence in the Electoral process.”

“INEC should ensure that they have data of PWDs and ensure they know where they are located. So, if you have to bring magnifying glasses to those places, you have to know the numbers of people living with albinism.