Jerry Grace, an advocate for disability rights, asserts that she anticipates candidates for Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) will be nominated by the Independent National Electoral Commissioner (INEC).
On Tuesday, she made this statement in Abuja during a citizens’ election dialogue on the topic “What makes a good election in Nigeria.”
“Beyond questioning the integrity of those nominated, we have a challenge where it is all exclusive of the most marginalised group. Now, we are promoting an all-inclusive election, we are promoting an all-inclusive society, but where there is a huge gap – and these marginalised groups are relegated to the background.
“And sometimes when you look at it, it looks like it is an intentional approach to provide a platform for this marginalised group, and that is where we have the challenge.”
But she said, “We still say there is a huge gap. That gap needs to be addressed. While we wait for the new nominees to come up, we expect that persons with disabilities, youths, and even women will make that list to say we have an all-inclusive INEC that works for all.”
Along with her, other speakers at the gathering advocated for a fair election the following year, among them Nnenna Ukeje, a former representative.
With young people’s increased interest in the election, according to Ukeje, INEC must produce a reliable poll.
“Now, if anything goes awry, the effect of the disenchantment of these people, who have put their hopes in the future of this country through the ballot, is going to be difficult to contain,” the former member representing Bende Federal Constituency, said.
“So, when we start to speak about the integrity of the people who want to be the umpires of this election, and we start to see that there is less than transparent engagement with the National Assembly and the Nigerian people, then it means that the outcome of the elections is going to leave a lot to be desired.
“So, I think it is of the utmost importance that the APC government realises that the onus is on them to come out there and give us the elections they promised us.”