The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, on Tuesday pledged to repeat the feat it recorded in last Saturday’s governorship election in Ekiti State in future elections.
INEC Chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega, who stated this in Abuja at a meeting with the leaderships of the 26 registered political parties, said the experience in Ekiti election would be improved upon specifically in both the August 17 governorship election in Osun State and the 2015 general elections.
The meeting, which took place at INEC Headquarters in Abuja, was attended by chairmen and secretaries of the political parties.
The stakeholder’s meeting was part of the Commission’s efforts to harmonize and approve the guidelines for the commencement of the election campaign by candidates and conduct of election primaries by political parties ahead of the general elections next year.
Mr. Jega commended the efforts of the parties in contributing to the peaceful conduct of the Ekiti polls and asked for their commitment in future elections.
He said, “From the INEC staff, to the young men and women of the NYSC and other tertiary institutions, to the security agencies, political parties, civil society organizations and the candidates and host of other stakeholders, every one put together in their best and our collective best turned out to be good enough in Ekiti. That is how it should be and it is a very good lesson for our future elections.
“The successful conduct of a free, fair and peaceful election in Ekiti is a good omen for the subsequent elections to come, and indeed for the satisfaction of the aspiration of Nigerians for a consolidated democracy. We must therefore not rest on our oars, but continue to do our best collectively to sustain and keep on improving on this achievement.
“The coming election in Osun state, God willing should on the count be better, and the 2015 general elections must be the best. It is therefore a challenge for all of us to join hands and continue to work together to ensure this necessary outcome”.
Prof. Jega, however, expressed dissatisfaction with the way the parties and their candidates were flouting election campaign and threatened to sanction any of them who failed to follow the 90 days prescribed in the Electoral Act before embarking on campaign.
Chairman of the Inter Party Advisory Council, IPAC, Tanko Yinusa, who congratulated the INEC chairman on the successful conduct of the Ekiti governorship election, noted that the Council had a 13-point agenda which it forwarded to INEC for consideration.
Mr. Yinusa, who is also the National chairman of National Conscience Party, NCP, stated that highlights of the agenda, which it intended to discuss with the National Assembly, included measures to ensure the survival of political parties, registration and deregistration as well as funding of political parties.