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Submit 2023 Election Observation Reports, INEC Charges CSOs

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The Independent National Electoral Commission INEC has urged Civil Society Organizations CSOs to submit their 2023 election observation reports or risk loosing their eligibility to observe future elections.

The INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu made the call during the first Quarterly Consultative Meeting with Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) for 2024, held at the INEC Headquarters, Abuja, on Wednesday.

The Chairman also urged members of the Civil Society community to engage with Political Parties and endeavor to Monitor their Primaries Scheduled to be conducted between April 6 and April 27, 2024.

He said doing so will give a boost to their advocacy for the inclusion of the disadvantaged and underrepresented groups in elective positions at all levels.

Prof. Yakubu who disclosed that 16 Political Parties out of 19 had indicated interest in fielding candidates for the November 16 Governorship election in Ondo state, told representatives of CSOs present that, “political parties will commence their primaries for the Governorship election in the next two weeks. I urge Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) to engage with Political Parties and observe their primaries just as you engage with INEC and deploy observers to the main election conducted by the Commission.”

“By doing so, you will strengthen your advocacy for inclusivity for groups such as women, youths, and Persons with Disability (PwD) that are under-represented in elective offices at National and State level, ” he added.

The INEC Chairman while appreciating CSOs for their contributions to the improvement of the electoral process through meaningful observations and recommendations in their election observation reports, frowned at the some who are yet to submit their observation reports from the 2023 General Election and the off-cycle elections.

He said “we appreciate the observations and recommendations contained in your election observation reports. Some of the reforms and innovations introduced by the Commission over the years draw from your observation reports.”

He continued: “However, while many of you have submitted your reports, some accredited observers are yet to do so for the general election, supplementary elections, off-cycle elections, bye-elections, and re-run elections.

“May I therefore seize this opportunity to remind those who are yet to submit their observation reports that it is mandatory to do so being one of the conditions for eligibility to observe future elections. Going forward, the Commission will operate strictly on the policy of “No Observation Report, No Accreditation,” he warned.

Responding on behalf of the CSOs, the Executive Director of, the Sustainable Gender Action Initiative, Mufuliat Fijabi, commended INEC for its sustained partnership and collaboration with the Civil Society Community.

She stressed the need for sustained collaboration with the Commission, saying “It is important that we continue to work together as CSOs with the Election Management Body, considering the need to deepen democratic practice in Nigeria.”

Mrs. Fijabi said the CSOs will work towards strengthening their engagement with political parties and observe their activities and primaries leading to the emergence of candidates.

On the submission of Observation Mission reports, the CSO representative said “We also take very seriously the fact that the Commission is still expecting reports from observation groups especially reports from CSOs and I am quite optimistic that my colleagues here who have already started turning in their reports will expedite action to ensure that the reports are forwarded to the Commission. “

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