Moses Oyediran, Enugu
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has stated that it will no longer recognise election results obtained under duress.
INEC’s Enugu State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Dr. Emeka Ononamadu, said this on Monday during a one-day workshop for “INEC review of the 2019 general elections in Enugu State’’.
According to him, the danger of rewarding intimidation with certificate of return is that it will take a very dangerous foundation to future elections.
He noted that any person or group of persons that endangers the lives of electorate and INEC staff through violence, threat and intimidation should not be allowed to benefit from their illegality.
“If we allow this, it will endanger our democracy and the entire democratic processes and tenets since there is an organic link between free, fair and credible election and good governance.
“As a commission, we are prepared to ensure that our staff are given the maximum protection as they carry out their election duties henceforth.
Another fall-out of this is also the high violence witnessed in some states, Enugu State not included, but we as the commission staff feel the impact of these violence especially those directed to us, INEC staff and electorate as well,’’ he said.
Ononamadu said that not abiding by electoral rules had led to lack of internal democracy in political parties, “which its resultant effect is the current high pre-election litigation, over 800, in various courts across the country’’.
On the workshop, Ononamadu said that the post-election review would strengthen the role of electoral officers, improve the electoral process and broaden the capacity of electoral officers to deliver on their mandate.
“The commission will soon start rewarding staff that worked effectively and efficiently for it to achieve its election mandate; while reprimanding staff that failed the commission in the course of discharging their election duties,’’ he said.
The workshop, attended by over 120 INEC staff and ad-hoc staff in the state, was meant for collation officers, presiding officers and returning officers during the just-concluded 2019 General Elections.