General elections: INEC accredits 144 observer groups

The Independent National Electoral Commission ( INEC ) has accredited 144 observer groups that will monitor the conduct of the forthcoming general elections in the country. The figure, as published on the commission’s official website, www.inecnigeria.org, comprised 116 domestic and 28 international observer groups. The commission advised all the accredited observers to abide by its code of conduct for election observers. “INEC is pleased to announce the successful applicants to observe the 2019 general elections holding on 16th Feb. 2019 and 2nd March, 2019. “All accredited observers shall abide by the code of conduct for election observers, which is available for download on the INEC website (www.inecnigeria.org). “INEC reserves the right to cancel and withdraw the accreditation of any organisation if its members or agents breach the code of conduct,’’ the commission said. It, therefore, advised the accredited groups to obtain and complete form EC 14A (ii) from its Elections and Party Monitoring Department, at its Headquarters in Maitama, Abuja between 8am to 4pm (Monday to Friday) starting from Jan. 28 to Feb. 1. The commission, however, warned that it would hand over to law enforcement agencies any group other than those accredited, found in any state for the elections. “Also, accredited field observers found in states other than where they are posted will equally be sanctioned. The accredited foreign observer groups are African Bar Association; African Parliament of The Civil Society; African Union; British High Commission; Democrat Union of Africa; ECOWAS; Elections Cameroon (ELECAM) Republic Of Cameroon; and the Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa. Other accredited foreign observers are Embassy of France; Embassy of Japan; Embassy of the Arab Republic of Egypt; Embassy of The Republic Of Korea; European Centre For Electoral Support; European Union; German International Agency; High Commission of Canada; and the International Foundation For Electoral System. The International Human Rights CommissionI; International Peace Commission; International Republican Institute; the National Democratic Institute; the Network for Solidarity; and the Empowerment and Transformation for All were also accredited to cover the elections. Other international obsevers accredited are Nigerians in Diaspora Organization; Pan African Women Projects; Pan African Youth Training and Enlightenment Centre; Queen Zara Foundation for Human Resources Development; The Commonwealth; and the United States Embassy On the domestic scene, Action Aid Nigeria; Advocacy for Quality Leadership and Health Awareness Foundation; African Centre For Leadership, Strategy and Development; African Christian Care Trust Organization; Transition Monitoring Group; and YIAGA Africa Initiative are some of the observer groups accredited. Others are African Initiative for Sustainable and Positive Development; African Youth Leadership Roundtable Initiative; Al-Habibiyyah Islamic Society; Alliance for Credible Election; Asabe Shehu Yar’adua Foundation; Centre for Citizens With Disabilities; Centre for Strategic Conflict Management; and the Centre for Transparency Advocacy Still on the domestic list are Children and Youth Awareness Development Foundation; Christian Association of Nigeria; Christian Council Of Nigeria; Church Of Nigeria Anglican Communion; Citizens Rights And Leadership Awareness Initiative; and the Citizens Rights For Peace And Good Leadership Initiative. The Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre; Cleen Foundation; Conscience Women of Africa Initiative; Jama’atu Izalatau Badi’ah Wa Ikamatu Sunnatu; Justice Development And Peace; Catholic Caritas Foundation of Nigeria; and the National Orientation Agency also got the approval to cover the elections. The others are the Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room (Policy And Legal Advocacy Centre); Nigerian Bar Association; Northern Patriotic Front; Northern Youth And Elders Awareness Forum; Police Service Commission; Shehu Musa Yar’adua Foundation; and The Albino Foundation.