The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says its efforts at ensuring the participation of more women in the electoral process did not yield the desired result in 2019 general elections.
INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, made the assertion at the “INEC’S review meeting of 2019 general elections from a gender perspective”, held in Abuja on Friday.
Represented by Dr Adekunle Ogunmola, INEC National Commissioner, Yakubu said that it was evident on the number of female candidates who emerged in the general elections.
He described the situation as appalling, “in spite a general commitment to the principle of non-discrimination, Nigeria fell short of the deserved result of giving males and females equal opportunities.”
Yakubu said that evidences abound of several negative aspects of gender relations such as: disparities between male and female access to power and resources, played out in the 2019 general elections.
He said that the 2019 general election activities and engagements showed high level participation of women in the electoral process as aspirants, but due to barriers, they regressed in the number that won elections.
Yakubu added that party primaries amongst others fell short of expectations as many women could not secure tickets to represent their parties.
“During the elections, only five out of the 73 candidates who ran for the position of president were women.
“Also, 1,668 men and 232 women contested for the 109 senatorial seats while 4,139 men and 533 women contended for 360 seats in the House of Representatives.
“At the end of the election, only seven women won senatorial seats and 11 were elected into the House of Representatives, while four were elected as deputy Governors.
“However, other countries in the Sub-Saharan Africa have laid examples to follow.
“For instance, 12 Sub-Saharan countries elected more than 30 per cent women to legislative positions, while Rwanda reportedly have so many success stories and advancement in electing women to more than 60 per cent of its legislative positions.
“The huge efforts made by the commission to support the participation of women in the electoral process did not succeed in addressing the decline of women’s representation in politics.
“This is worrisome as women’s participation in governance and leadership is not only essential prerequisite for removing gender inequality, but also the attainment of basic human rights,” he said.
The chairman said there was need to start thinking of how things could be done differently for more impact.
“Such exercise will assist INEC to learn vital lessons that could enable the commission review its policies and programmes and serve as a roadmap in planning for future elections.
“There is also need to review the operational framework put in place by the commission, identify success factors with a view to consolidating and sustaining them,” he said.
Yakubu added that the reviews were not about the commission alone, but about mutual credibility for a successful electoral process and outcome in the future elections.
“He said that INEC would continue to engage with critical stakeholders at various levels to support and interrogate gender issues in politics and political processes in Nigeria,” he said.
Prof. Antonia Okoosi-Simbine, INEC National Commissioner, said that the overall level of representation of women in politics remained a cause for concern.
Okoosi-Simbine said that the meeting would interrogate the actions and inactions of the commission and other stakeholders around gender issues during the elections and how to change the narrative going forward.
“The overall objective of the review is to provide a platform to analyse the 2019 elections, especially from the commission’s perspective and to advance the rights of women in Nigeria towards setting an agenda for 2023,” she said.
In her remarks, Dr Asmau Maikudi, INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) Zamfara, said that the marginalisation of women in Nigeria had been a huge detriment to its efforts to grow as a stable, democratic nation.
Maikudi said that any democratisation process that fails to incorporate a gender perspective was a flaw.
Maikudi recommended that every man and woman, starting from the ward to the presidency level should be made to compulsorily receive an awareness education/lecture on equal access of women in politics.
The event, which was attended by INEC Desk Officers from the 36 states and the FCT, was organised in collaboration with the European Centre for Electoral Support (ECES).
Edited by Remi Koleoso/Kayode Olaitan
Ondo: We don’t substitute nominated candidates -INEC
The commission made the clarification in a statement issued by Mr Festus Okoye, INEC National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee on Monday in Abuja.
“On July 31, INEC published the provisional list of candidates for the Ondo State governorship election scheduled for Oct. 10 in its state office in Akure and also uploaded same to its website and social media platforms.
“The list contains the names of the governorship and deputy governorship candidates submitted by 17 political parties, including the AAC at the close of nomination on July 28.
“However, one of the aspirants in the primaries of the party accused the commission of substituting his name as the rightful governorship candidate of the party, while another aspirant also claimed that the commission substituted his deputy governorship candidate.
“Contrary to these assertions, INEC did not substitute the name of any aspirant or candidate.
“The commission received only one submission from the AAC through its dedicated online portal for candidate nomination.
“There was no human interface. The names uploaded on the portal by the political parties were the same names published.
“The commission only receives the names of candidates and running mates from the National Headquarters of Political Parties, duly signed by both the national chairman and national secretary,” Okoye said.
He said that by the Supplementary Regulations and Guidelines for Activities of Political Parties issued by the commission on June 9, the national chairmen and national secretaries of political parties as contained in the commission’s records shall be issued access codes to the commission’s portal.
He said that only the two party leaders had access for the electronic submission, withdrawal and substitution of names and particulars of their candidates as elected at party primaries monitored by the commission.
“The political parties shall use the access codes provided by the commission to upload the names and particulars of their candidates based on the prescribed Forms EC9 (formerly EC CF 001) and the appropriate Form EC9 (A) – (G) series (formerly CF 002) as provided on the commission’s website.
“The completed forms EC9 and EC9 (A) – (G) series, signed by the national chairman and national secretary of the political party, are uploaded to the commission’s prescribed portal along with the relevant covering letter addressed to the chairman of the commission,” he said.
Okoye said that INEC did not deal directly with aspirants, candidates or state branches of political parties in matters relating to the nomination, submission and substitution of candidates of political parties.
He said that such action was the exclusive preserve of the political parties as represented by the national chairman and national secretary.
“The commission duly published the names of the governorship and deputy governorship candidates as submitted by the national chairman and secretary of the AAC.
“Aspirants, candidates and state branches of political parties, with issues or challenges relating to their nominated candidates should approach and resolve such issues with the national chairmen and secretaries of their respective political parties,” Okoye said.
AAC National Chairman, Dr Leonard Nzenwa in a separate statement, confirmed that the name of of the party’s deputy governorship candidate for the Ondo governorship election, published by INEC was the authentic name submitted to the commission by the party.
He said that the names of the candidates published by INEC were the ones submitted by the party to the commission as empowered by the party’s Constitution and Electoral Act 2010 (As Amended).
“The party wishes to make it clear that the party’s leadership, through its national headquarters submitted names of its candidates to the commission.
“It is within powers of the party’s chairman and its leadership to exercise this task as it has nothing to do with the INEC or any other stakeholder for that matter,” he said.
Nzenwa enjoined party faithful to remain calm, law-abiding and continue to work to uplift the party.
Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Kayode Olaitan (NAN)
Ondo poll: AAC vows to sue INEC for replacing party’s deputy gov’s name
AAC said this in a statement in Akure on Sunday by Mr Oluwasunkanmi Oni, State Publicity Secretary and Mr Alex Adeniyi, State Chairman.
“It is ignominious for INEC, a body that is expected to be apolitical, to collaborate with some unrecognized entities for reasons best known to them to tamper with the structure and constitution of our party”.
It explained that the party on July 25, 2020 held her governorship primary election at the International Culture and Event Centre (DOME) where Prince Adekunle Adeleye was elected by the party delegates as the governorship candidate of the party.
“Thereafter, Prince Adekunle Adeleye’s name and the Deputy Governorship candidate selected, Mrs Mopelola Evelyn Ibrahim, were duly sent to INEC as governorship and deputy governorship candidates of the party, respectively.
“It is therefore saddening that INEC went on to manufacture an unknown deputy governorship candidate, namely Samuel Tope Omotosho, who is totally unknown to our party, who is not and have never been a member of our party, AAC, either in Ondo State or anywhere in Nigeria.
“At this point, we demand INEC to abjure her errors at once and replace the unrecognized name (Samuel Tope Omotosho) with the authentic name (Mrs Mopelola Evelyn Ibrahim) submitted to them by the party or face legal action.
“We, the African Action Congress (AAC), reject in its entirety the unknown name paired with Prince Adekunle Adeleye, our party’s Gubernatorial Candidate, as running mate,” it said.
Edited By: Abiodun Esan/Wale Ojetimi (NAN)
17 political parties submit nominations for Ondo governorship election-INEC
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says 17 political parties submitted the list and particulars of their nominated candidates for Ondo State governorship election at the deadline for submission.
The commission disclosed this in a statement issued by Mr Festus Okoye INEC National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, after the commission’s meeting held on Tuesday in Abuja.
INEC on Feb. 6 published the timetable and schedule of activities for the state governorship election as well fixed July 28 as the deadline for submission of nominations for the election, through dedicated portal designed by the commission.
“The commission gave political parties interested in sponsoring and nominating candidates between July 2 and July 25 to conduct party primaries and till 6p.m of July 28 for the submission of the list and particulars of nominated candidates.
“Seventeen out of the 18 registered political parties gave the commission the requisite statutory notice of their intention to conduct primaries and they conducted primaries for the purposes of nominating candidates for the governorship election.
“The commission opened its dedicated nomination portal on July 21 and some of the political parties that conducted their primaries before the July 25 deadline seized the opportunity and uploaded the list and particulars of their nominated candidates ahead of the cut off time of 6p.m on July 28.
“As at 4.08 p,m on Tuesday, all the 17 political parties had submitted the list and particulars of their nominated candidates using the INEC dedicated portal.”
“Okoye said that the list and personal particulars of the candidates as submitted by the 17 political parties would be uploaded on INEC website and published in our state office in Akure, Ondo State on July 31.
“This is in compliance with section 31(3) of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended). The List will also be published on the Commission’s social media platforms on the same day.”
He urged the public to take an active part in the vetting of the list and particulars of nominated candidates to enhance transparency in the party nomination processes
“By section 31 (5) & (6) of the Electoral Act, a person who has reasonable grounds to believe that any information given in the affidavit or any of the documents submitted by any of the candidates is false, may file a suit in Court seeking a declaration that such information is false.
“If the court determines that the information is false, the Court shall issue an Order disqualifying the candidate from contesting the election,” he said.
Okoye noted that the commission at the meeting also deliberated on a number of issues including the Nasarawa Central State Constituency Election scheduled for Aug. 8.
He said that the commission also deliberated on its preparations for the Edo governorship election holding on Sept 19, and the conduct of party primaries for the Ondo State governorship election scheduled for Oct. 10.
Edited By: Kayode Olaitan (NAN)
Ondo 2020: SDP faction urges INEC to announce preferred candidate
A lawmaker representing Idanre/Ifedore federal constituency, Tajudeen Adefisoye, said this in the statement issued by his Senior Legislative Aide, Mr Richard Adeyemi, on Monday in Akure.
Adefisoye said that his faction, led by Dele Thomas, had, at the primary, produced Mr Adekunle Saliu as the candidate of SDP to INEC, as against Mr Peter Fasua’s candidacy produced by Mr Oladele Ogunbameru-led faction of the party.
“For now, we are waiting for the decision of INEC on the candidate to recognise.
“It is pertinent to state that SDP only has only one gubernatorial candidate in the person of Alhaji Adekunle Saliu for the election.
“We really wonder how on earth will any serious faction of a political party that is worth its onion settle for a party secretariat as venue of its governorship primary election,” he said.
Adefisoye said that his faction conducted its governorship primary at Ondo Motel Plaza, with 16 local government party chairmen as well as 360 authentic delegates from all over the state in attendance.
He said that also in attendance at the primary were delegates from the national secretariat of SDP, INEC officials, journalists and security operatives, claiming that the primary conducted by the Ogunbameru-led faction was a nullity.
Ogunbameru had, however, told journalists that the primary conducted by his faction was the only one recognised by INEC.
The party’s National Vice Chairman (South West), Bade Falade, had also said that eight delegates from each of the 18 local government areas of the state participated in the exercise that elected Fasua.
He said that the primary that produced Fasua was reportedly attended by the state chairpersons of the party from Ebonyi, Edo, Ogun, Kogi, Rivers, Osun, Lagos, Delta, Adamawa and Akwa-Ibom states.
Edited By: Joe Idika and (NAN)‘Wale Sadeeq