HELD ON WEDNESDAY 9TH AND THURSDAY 10TH APRIL 2014 AT THE ASAA PYRAMID HOTEL, KADUNA
To strengthen the partnership between the State Independent Electoral Commissions (SIECs) and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), and add value to the electoral process, a two-day Experience Sharing Conference on Best Practices in Election Management was held on Wednesday 9th and Thursday 10thApril 2014 at the Asaa Pyramid Hotel, Kaduna.
2. OBJECTIVES OF THE CONFERENCE
The objectives of the conference were to:-
1. Deepen the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between SIECs and INEC, reinfornce their good working relations, and seek further ways of cooperation towards more credible electoral and democratic processes;
2. Share experiences on international best practices, assess challenges and reinforce commitment to credible elections in Nigeria; and
3. Share with SIECs the overall plans and preparations of INEC for the 2015 General Elections.
After extensive deliberations, the Conference observed as follows:
I. That the conduct of free, fair and credible elections at national as well as local government levels is indispensable to the expansion and deepening of Nigeria’s democratic experience;
II. That eleven (11) states namely: Abia, Bauchi, Borno, Delta, Ekiti, Imo, Kano, Katsina, Ondo, Osun and Oyo have, disappointingly, failed to conduct local council elections and that the LGAs in these states are either under caretaker committees or, in one case (Delta), under the Head of Personnel Management, contrary to the provisions of the 1999 Constitution (as amended);
III. That the operational and financial independence of SIECs is key to the conduct of free, fair and credible local government and should be constitutionally guaranteed;
IV. That INEC’s preparations for the 2015 general elections particularly in areas such as the Election Project Plan, Election Management System, Constituency Delimitation, continuous voter registration and voter education amongst many others are impressive; and
V. That all political parties should intensify civic and voter education as part of their responsibilities as mobilizers of voters and aggregators of opinions.
The Conference resolves as follows:-
I. To strongly urge States that have not conducted LGA elections and are under various caretaker committees to urgently do so without further delay;
II. To strongly call for the operational and financial independence of SIECs to be constitutionally guaranteed;
III. To call on State governments to create enabling conditions that can allow SIECs to operate professionally and creditably;
IV. To call on political parties to begin extensive civic and voter education campaigns to compliment the work of SIECs and INEC; and
V. To explore more avenues of cooperation between SIECs and INEC in addressing the challenges arising from the electoral and political processes.
Director, Voter Education and Publicity
Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)