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We Are Not Financially Independent ― INEC

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said that truly the commission is not Independent.

Head of Certified Trainer, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mrs Hajia Garba Safia, made this known during a two days Zonal Training organised for Electoral Security Personnel for Kogi 2019 Governorship Election supported by the European Centre for Electoral support which took place in Okene, Kogi central Kogi State which ends on Wednesday.

She noted that although INEC enjoys financial autonomy and, since the amendments to the Electoral Act 2019, draws directly from the Consolidated Revenue of the Federation, yet this positive change in the funding regime of INEC, it still depends on the political will of the executive and the internal administrative processes of the Budget and Finance Ministries for early release of funds for confirming elections.

“Delays with the release of the fund can negatively impact on INEC preparations and create anxiety within the polity. In the light of increasing concerns about the rising costs of elections associated with the cost of hardware components of technology and the huge administrative costs of running elections, issues of inadequate budgets and late release of funds may pose as challenges in the electoral environment that can play out in electoral security.

She further stressed that the perception that security agencies are partial and lack neutrality in the electoral process can be a real source of discord, tension and violence in the electoral process.

She noted that the general perception that the Police, in particular, is corrupt could have implication for the level of public confidence in the institutions in the context of providing electoral security.

“However, recognising that there is no alternative to the deployment of security agencies under the control of the police in providing electoral security implies that control efforts need to be made on the part of the police and other security agencies to increase public confidence in the agencies.

“Electoral security should, therefore, be provided on the basis of professionalism of security agencies and loyalty to the nation as envisaged in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,’ she pleaded.

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