EMEKA NZE writes on the 4th Abubakar Memorial Lecture in Abuja organised by the Electoral Institute on the theme: Electoral Act 2022: Imperatives for Political Events and the 2023 Basic Elections.
It was a gathering of who’s who in Nigeria’s electoral system on the Electoral Institute (TEI), Abuja final Wednesday, on the 4th Abubakar Momoh Memorial Lecture on the theme: “Electoral Act 2022: Imperatives for Political Events and the 2023 Basic Election”.
The roll name of stakeholders included prime echelon of the Electoral Administration Physique (EMB), the leaders of political events, the civil society organisations, the safety companies in addition to Administrators and different administration employees of the fee.
The occasion was to honour the previous Director Basic of The Electoral Institute (TEI) Abubakar Momoh who died 5 years in the past and to present the event the hue of genuine memorial, a member of his household, the late Momoh’s spouse, Mrs Tawa Momoh was in attendance.
To set the tone of the programme, Chairman Impartial Nationwide Electoral Fee (INEC) Prof Mahmood Yakubu mentioned “the Prof. Abubakar Momoh memorial lecture is a platform established by the Fee to challenge the beliefs of a social activist and an advocate of residents involvement in elections and Nation constructing.
“It’s, subsequently, befitting to trip on this platform for advocacy on the electoral authorized framework that may drive the 2023 normal election. At this junction.
To this finish, he mentioned, “please be a part of me to look at one minute silence for the repose of the soul of our departed good friend, father and electoral activist. Might his soul relaxation in good peace”, he mentioned.
It was one other alternative for the INEC chairman to name on political events and different stakeholders to check and get used to the provisions of the brand new Electoral Act handed into legislation in February 2022.
To Prof Yakubu, the fee is poised to scrupulously apply the provisions of the brand new electoral legal guidelines in its resolve to conduct the 2023 normal election with out worry or favour and guarantee a free, truthful, credible, inclusive and clear election come February, 2023.
Represented by the Chairman of the Board of TEI and Nationwide Commissioner, Prof. Abdullahi Abdu Zuru, Yakubu tasked the occasion leaders to be dedicated to making sure that the 2023 normal election is devoid of deliberate infractions to the 2022 Electoral Act basically by permitting the electoral course of to run easily thereby rising a wealthy democratic tradition and acceptable election final result.
Yakubu mentioned, “because the 2023 normal election attracts close to, it’s crucial for all stakeholders particularly the political events to notice the most important options launched by the brand new Electoral Act 2022 and the attainable implications of those modifications on the upcoming elections: the happenings that accompanied the current occasion primaries attest to this”.
“These modifications embody amongst others, the conduct of Early Get together Primaries by political events, technological modifications within the electoral course of, the Fee’s energy to Assessment the choice of Returning Officer and overvoting based mostly on the variety of accredited Voters.
“These initiatives as contained within the Legislation served because the bedrock for the reviewed Rules and Pointers for the Conduct of Elections 2022 launched by the Fee on twenty fourth Might 2022. This in flip dictated the evaluate of the Handbook for Election Officers, 2022”.
Talking on the Authorized backing the brand new Electoral Act offers INEC’s technological improvements, the INEC Chairman mentioned; “Let me draw your consideration to the truth that using digital gadgets akin to Bimodal Voters Accreditation System (BVAS), INEC Voter Enrolment Machine (IVED), INEC Outcomes Viewing Portal (IRev) and different technological gadgets, at the moment are legally allowed within the accreditation course of for voters, collation of outcomes and within the normal conduct of elections”.
“Please be assured that these improvements are supposed to deepen the Electoral Course of in our Nation and their optimum efficiency within the simply concluded gubernatorial election in Ekiti and Osun States is an eloquent testimony to their electoral worth. We will solely do extra to consolidate their deployment in our election. As soon as once more, I want to guarantee you that INEC has no most well-liked occasion or candidate. We will solely be certain that legitimate votes rely and the winners are determined solely by the voters.”
In his welcome remarks, the Director Basic (DG) of TEI, Dr. Sa’advert Umar Idris, mentioned the theme of the lecture was fastidiously chosen contemplating the need and necessities for conducting the 2023 Basic Election below a brand new legislation and the implications of the brand new electoral legislation for not solely the Fee, but in addition specifically, the 18 political events that will probably be fielding candidates for the varied elective workplaces within the Basic Election.
Dr. Idris added that “the unlucky preponderance of many authorized circumstances arising even from the pre-election interval up until after the conduct of the elections, certainly have at many instances introduced a number of challenges to the electoral course of and our nation’s political growth at giant”.
He continued “It’s hoped that with this lecture and coaching for occasion executives, due affect could be dropped at bear and cut back the swift race to the courts that has characterised our political house within the final 10 years”.
The DG expressed optimism that the memorial lecture will interrogate the connection between the brand new Act and the roles of all stakeholders notably the Fee and the 18 political events and 2023 Basic Election and recommend methods of conducting free, truthful, credible and inclusive elections with out pointless litigations that may very well be drawbacks to the election.
In his paper presentation, the Visitor Lecturer, Prof. Yemi Akinseye-George (SAN), highlighted the brand new introductions and modifications in 2022 Electoral Act and their implications to the Election Administration Physique and political events.
He harped on the necessity for inner occasion democracy and identified that “the Supreme Courtroom has determined in a number of circumstances that political events should obey their very own constitutions because the courtroom won’t permit them to behave arbitrarily or as they like.”
The Visitor Speaker ended his lecture with a meals for thought for the political actors. He mentioned “Politics is just not anarchy; it’s not disorderliness; it have to be punctuated by justice, equity and orderliness.”
The Spouse of the Late DG of TEI, in whose reminiscence the lecture held, appreciated the fee for the gesture of honouring her late husband 5 years after his demise.
Mrs. Tawa Momoh, in her goodwill message mentioned it was an excellent honour to the household to see Prof. Momoh’s legacies being sustained by the fee.
There was additionally a coaching for political occasion executives on essential parts of the Electoral Act 2022, instantly after the Lecture ended.
Additionally, in attendance on the lecture had been Nationwide Commissioners; Festus Okoye Esq, Prof. Rhoda Gumus, Dr. Baba Bila, Mal. Mohammed Kudu Haruna, and Prof. Kunle Ajayi.
Additionally current had been the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) for FCT, Alh. Yahaya Bello, and Technical Aides of the INEC Chairman; Prof. Bolade Eyinla, Prof. Mohammad J. Kuna, and Chief Press Secretary to INEC chairman Rotimi Oyekanmi, in addition to administrators and different administration employees of the fee.