By Olayinka Ajayi
The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has said it is reviewing its level of preparedness ahead of the forthcoming elections.
Speaking during a two-day workshop organised for Election Monitoring and Support Centre (EMSC) Amber zone, National Level in Lagos, Special Adviser to INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, Prof Mohammad Kuna, disclosed that the aim of the workshop is to review the Commission’s level of preparedness, identify gaps if any and address them.
He said:“Since its inception, the Election Monitoring and Support Centre has provided the Commission with a broad framework for enhancing coordination, efficiency and effectiveness in the planning and implementation of electoral activities. Approved by the Commission in January 2014 as a tool for monitoring and tracking the implementation of electoral activities, the tool has been deployed in all general and other off-cycle elections since the Ekiti Governorship election in June 2014. It was deployed in both the 2015 and 2019 general elections, and in Off-Cycle elections since, from Kogi to Osun.
“For the 2023 General Election, the National Level Amber Zone Implementers’ Workshop is the second of three planned training and implementation engagements. The first was a series of meetings across the administrative zones of the Commission that brought together all Heads of Department where the operation of the EMSC was thoroughly discussed and reviewed towards the end of 2022.
“That review provided significant inputs that redefined the EMSC Work Plan for the 2023 General Election as originally conceived. More specifically, the traditional training of the Amber and Red Zone normally conducted for Off-Cycle Elections were redesigned.
He added, “Thus, this second of the three planned meetings focuses on the training of Administrative Secretaries, Heads of GAP, as well as the three Desk Officers of the EMSC to constitute a core of EMSC trainers for each of the 36 States and the FCT. This phase is for all the 19 States in the northern zone and the FCT. On the 26th of this month, the 17 States of the southern zone will be similarly trained.
“The personnel assembled here are expected, under the leadership of the Administrative Secretary, to implement a training programme for EOs and other staff at the state level. The key objectives of the National Level Amber Zone Training are fives, understanding the concept of the EMSC, its operational goals as well as data collection and reporting tools for the 2023 General Election, enhancing the operational capacity of the State EMSC Secretariat and repositioning it for the collection and reporting of Amber and Red Zone activities for the 2023 General Election.
“Enhancing compliance to the validation of reports to ensure data accuracy for focused and prompt decisions by the Commission, enhancing the EMSC’s communication flow and strategy for the general election; and
Generating state level baseline readiness assessment for report for the entire state.
He noted that the training is crucial to the monitoring and implementation of the 2023 general election, stressing that although work has been ongoing and the election is being implemented with several materials being delivered to state offices on a daily basis, they need to have a complete picture of the state of readiness state by state and local government by local government across the country.
“This training provides us at both HQ and state level, an opportunity, and the necessary tools to have a clear assessment of the readiness statuses, as well as to have total control over all planned activities. Doing so frees up more time to deal with unplanned or unanticipated events that may arise during all elections everywhere.
“As participants, it is your responsibility nay, obligation to ensure you are fully conversant with all the materials provided and discussed here, including the goals, timelines, communication flows, as well as duties of the various in the implementation chain of the election. Providing leadership and direction in reporting and the validation of data collected across the indicators of the amber and red zones is core to the smooth operation of the system.”
In his remarks, the Lagos State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Mr. Olusegun Agbaje said, “The workshop will be cascaded to the state on the 2nd and 3rd of February, 2023 and the experience gathered is expected to impact on preparation, planning and execution of the programmes designed for the successful conduct of the forthcoming election.
“In view of the above, the constitutional responsibility and obligation of INEC to conduct free, fair, credible and hitch free elections, the Commission must demonstrate determination to conduct an acceptable election for Nigerians in 2023.
“It is crystal clear that all eyes are on INEC, Nigeria’s electoral umpire concerning the conduct of the much anticipated 2023 general elections. It is therefore imperative that all hands must be on deck to support and avail preparations that are on top gear for a resounding success in the forthcoming general elections.”
The post 2023: INEC reviews level of preparedness ahead of polls appeared first on Vanguard News.
Leave a Reply